COIMBATORE: Motorsport is all about technology. For long, Indian motorsport has been stuck with outdated technology, be it engines, a car chassis or even electronics.
One of the main problems faced by the likes of Narain Karthikeyan, Karun Chandhok, Armaan Ebrahim have been the fact that they did not always have the gradual upgrades to better machines before racing in international events. However, the present generation is luckier. Saturday’s race and rally competitors can take advantage of aerodynamically designed car chassis, top-quality gearboxes and so on. There is a definite advantage. Younger drivers are getting to race with better technology. As a result, when they go abroad, they have already had some experience in good cars or bikes.
Armaan Ebrahim, who has raced in championships as high as GP2 Asia and Formula 2, said: “Kids start karting at about eight years of age now. But, by the time they begin racing at about 15, they already have about 7-8 years of experience on the track. We had to go abroad and race but they have their foundation at home and they have learnt the basics. That is an advantage.”
Now that good technology is in India, the key is that the sport should move to the next level. “That is where promotion of the sport is needed because motorsport is not like cricket. It is not about one championship or another. Today, there are 15-year-olds on the grid. Our technology should move even higher and we should look at getting international competitions to India in about three years. International drivers should come here and more of our racers should go abroad,” said Sanjay Sharma, head of motorsport in JK Tyre.
Apart from getting in the technology, the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) is also looking at getting more international events to India. FMSCI secretary general Rajan Syal said: “We hope to host more international events. With the possibility of F1 races going up to 25 a season, promoters should try and make use of the opportunity and get F1 back to India.”
Results (Round 2, JK-Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship): LGB 4: 1. Vishnu Prasad; 2. Ashwin Sundar; 3. Raghul Rangasamy. JK Touring Cars: 1. Ashish Ramaswamy; 2. M Sivaramakrishnan; 3. Radha Selvarajan. Euro JK 16: Race 1: 1. Ananth Shanmugam; 2. Karthik Tharani; 3. Nayan Chatterjee. Race 2: 1. Ananth Shanmugam; 2. Karthik Tharani; 3. Nayan Chatterjee.