With the government permitting the opening of sports facilities, albeit without spectators, the motorsport community is waiting for further clarity before the vroom of engines is heard on race tracks across the country.
The Sports Authority of India had formulated a Standard Operating Procedure, categorising sports as non-contact, medium/minimum contact, full contact and water sports, but there was no mention of motorsport.
Vicky Chandhok, former FMSCI president and vice-president of the Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC), told The Hindu, “We need to find out more about which category motorsport falls in. Also, with two tracks in Tamil Nadu, we need to wait and see what regulations the State government here comes up with.”
Chandhok, however, said that they are well-prepared to resume racing activities once clearer regulations are out. Usually, the month of June is when the national racing championships resume at full steam with races in Coimbatore and Chennai. This year, Chandhok expressed hope that racing and rallying activities can get back on track by September.
The South India Rally, a part of the FIA APRC, was scheduled to be run in March in Chennai before it was postponed. “In terms of social distancing, I think both the rallying and racing community can adhere to it,” said Chandhok. “We at the MMSC in the meanwhile have been busy with upgrading the MMRT track. We hope to get the track busy from next month … once the government allows us to.”
Narain to mentor gamer
Meanwhile, India’s first Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan has decided to take the country’s fastest gamer, 16-year-old Amith Kutty, under his wing.
“Amith will be testing for NK Racing Academy in our karting programme once the lockdown is lifted. We will evaluate his capabilities, train and ultimately push him to a race seat in the Rotax Max national championship,” said Narain.
The academy on Friday announced a tie-up with Ultimate E, an eSports organisation co-founded by racing stars Aditya Patel and Armaan Ebrahim to identify talent and help gamers transition to race tracks.