T1 PRIMA Racing Season 4: Pit Stop to the rescue..
Cruising trucks may steal every bit of our attention in the T1 PRIMA racing, but the phenomenal role played by the pit crew seems as important as the driver himself.
Soon after the first race in the PRO CLASS category got over, the trucks of all the six teams entered the pit lane for a squeaky halt, with smoky wheels, severed bumpers and side skirts, and damaged rims. Groups of men and women standing completely still thus far inside their respective garages, sprinted towards the trucks and entered into quick action. They have got little time to spruce-up the race machines before the commencement of the next race.
The pit crews, consisting of 10-15 mechanics and engineers for each team, swing into their designated jobs including refuelling, inspecting leakages in the water tanks that feed brake disc sprinklers, new tyre replacement, tinkering dents and damages to the body parts, and any mechanical and in-cabin adjustments if necessary. This may sound easy, but amid a cheering crowd of media persons, special invitees, and others flocking back and forth the pit lane to get a glimpse of Bollywood scion Akshay Kumar, they constantly straddle between ticking clock and effective restoration of the truck. Although drawn in from different companies like Tata Technologies, JK Tyres, Wabco, etc. the crew works in perfect harmony with one another and exhibit consistency, staying clear of any high-drama, mistakes, or floundering. When there is a heavy smoke, a crew guy pops in from nowhere with a fire extinguisher. Good job, bro!
What made us wonder is how far will this level of sophistication in truck maintenance procedures, using extensive tools and techs, trickle down to level of fleet operators in the country. For instance, replacing a truck’s wheel in less than 3 minutes using specialised hydraulic axle lifts and electric bolt fasteners. Or the digitised engine diagnosis system using an on-board computer in the trucks. How great the impacts of such technological infusion be on the lives of thousands of truckers and maintenance crew across the country? Changes in that direction are pretty eminent, but the industry does need a chain of catalysts at every levels to frack all-through the grass-root level.
T1 PRIMA Racing Season 4 Pit Crew – Image Gallery
*An edited version of this article has been published in the April 2017 edition of MotorIndia magazine.