A week has passed since the visit of Ratan Tata to Jayem Automotives here, but the company’s staffers, who got to see this legendary Tata icon from close quarters, are yet to get over the excitement of this ‘chance’ encounter.

“I joined this company just six months back and within this short period I got to see a person like Ratan Tata visiting the company.

“Even in my wildest dreams, I had not imagined seeing a person of such high stature, except on television. There is a feeling of disbelief even now,” said one lady employee, while another was happy she was the first to see the Tata chief, as she was at the reception.

‘Private visit’

There are reminders of the visit, what with pictures of Ratan Tata put up on the walls and the tree saplings he had planted near the front gate.

When we meet the Managing Director, J. Anand, he maintains that the Tata Chief’s visit was ‘private’ and prefers not to dwell on the details.

When we persist, Anand diverts our attention to his pet project — the MRF Formula 2000 racing car.

“While working as an extended arm of Tata Motors, we also work closely with MRF, on the motor sport front,” he said, driving us to his racing car and component manufacturing unit JA Motorsport.

Men are busy assembling the Formula 2000 racing cars. It’s a huge facility, and Anand claims it is the biggest racing car assembly facility in Asia.

Italian collaboration

“These racing cars will be some of the fastest and most modern FIA homologated single-seater cars in Asia,” Anand says, adding that “twenty cars will be going out for testing next month, before the Formula One race in Noida.

“These cars will raise the level of Indian racing in engineering and design. The cars will later find a place in race circuits in both India and Asia.”

Manufacturing racing cars is not new to Anand, for he has built 35 such cars. JA Motorsport has entered into a technical collaboration with Dallara of Italy for building these cars. “Gian Paolo Dallara is the world’s largest racing car manufacturer and consultant.

“He does engineering work for Alfa, Romeo, Bugatti, Ferrari and Lamborghini,” Anand explained.

Anand says he’s determined to build the links drivers need to get to the highest levels of international motor sport.

revathy.lakshminarasimhan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 18, 2012)
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