Defending champion Anindith Reddy will be the favourite when the Indian racer competes at the 20th JK Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship at the Kari Motor Speedway here from Friday.
The Hyderabadi lad won three of the four rounds last year and will be hoping for an encore as he prepares to make the big leap in world racing in the Euro JK 17 category.
However, the Indian will contend with two well-known international racers — Paolo Ippolito from Italy and Ricky Capo from Australia.
Capo will be a major threat, especially after winning the European Le Mans Series. Last year's second runner-up Nayan Chatterjee of Mumbai and defending LGB4 champion Vishnu Prasad of Chennai will also be a force to reckon with as they aim to go a notch higher.
The 17-year-old Mira Erda from Vadodara, who will become the first lady driver to compete in the Euro JK 17, will also be keenly watched.
Newly introduced comprehensive bike category Suzuki Gixxer Cup will also add to the adrenaline rush, with 30 young bikers, including two women, set to burn rubber.
The bikers have been carefully selected after four different selection rounds across the country — Bengaluru in the South, Aizawl in the East, Pune in the West and the National Capital Region in the North.
In the other popular category, the LGB4, will see as many as 18 racers gunning for glory. Two Sri Lankan racers bring the international flavour while Chennai's Raghul Rangasamy, Mumbai's pilot-lady racer Sneha Sharma (both Meco Racing) and Delhi's Rohit Khanna (Dark Don) are expected to be front-runners.
Talking about the championship, head of JK Motorsport Sanjay Sharma said: "We are really excited about this season. Not only is it going to be bigger and grander but we will also have a two-wheeler category for the first time."