Bengaluru’s first car racing track in the offing

An organiser of car racing events is eyeing 2.5 km of space in the layout around the proposed 25-acre stadium in Somashetty Halli, to create a track by November.
An aerial view of the location identified for the race track in Dr Shivaram Karanth Layout
An aerial view of the location identified for the race track in Dr Shivaram Karanth Layout

BENGALURU: Plans are afoot to develop Bengaluru’s first motorsport race track at Dr Shivaram Karanth Layout of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).

While the only other race track for the city is expected to get ready in Devanahalli only in 2026, if all goes well and ongoing discussions over realising the race track turn out to be fruitful, the planned track at Shivaram Karanth Layout could be ready by November this year itself.

An organiser of car racing events in India, who did not want to be identified, is eyeing 2.5 km of space in the layout around the proposed 25-acre stadium in Somashetty Halli, to create a track by November, BDA sources informed TNIE.

“The 2.5-km space will be in the form of a loop encircling the stadium. They will take over the area only during the duration of an event, which will last a few days. The upgradation required for a race and the barricading and other works for racing will be done. Otherwise, the road will be open to BDA allottees. The stadium is yet to be built, but space has already been earmarked for it,” a senior BDA official said. Officials said roads around the proposed stadium — meant as a multi-sport facility — have already been laid around the stadium, which would take much longer to be constructed.

A top BDA official confirmed, “A presentation was recently made to the BDA chairman and commissioner by the organiser of racing events to obtain space here for future events.” The organiser identified other areas in Bengaluru, but finally narrowed it down to the layout, he added.

The layout covers 3,546 acres, spread across 17 villages, and awaits a green signal from the Karnataka High Court to go ahead with the notification for allotment. A motorsport expert said it is very likely that Indian Racing League events and Formula 4-related events could be organised here.

‘Decibel levels will shoot up, but most Bengalureans reside in noisy areas’

An event manager supporting the organiser, Ghanashyam, said, “We are planning temporary racing tracks, which means that only some modifications, including barricading, will be made at the time of the races.”

A BDA official said, “Preliminary discussions are on and financial aspects would be worked out in subsequent talks. As of now, the organiser is looking at a 5-year contract that can be extended by another five years, if required, and needs the space possibly for a few days twice a year.”

Asked about possible noise pollution and impact on health of the layout’s residents, a senior Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) official said, “Decibel levels will definitely shoot up, but most people in Bengaluru reside or work in areas where noise pollution is much higher than what is prescribed for humans — 45 decibels during the day and 55 decibels at night.”

Bodapati David, a motorsport expert, cited an order passed by the Madras High Court in February this year in connection with a 3.7-km Formula 4 night street car race. Writ petitions had been filed over the noise generated. The court stated that the racing event was for a few days only, and ordered the Tamil Nadu Government to install silencing equipment during the same.

David added, “A Formula One event was held at Buddh International Circuit in UP for three years from 2011, but was withdrawn later from the country. It is unlikely that a Formula One event will be permitted, but the Indian Racing League event and Formula 4 could be held in Bengaluru. The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs in India would approve of them. There are different gradations in Formula Racing and F1 stands at the top. Nowhere in India do we have permission for it at present.”

HEARING ON JUNE 6

The Karnataka High Court has deferred a hearing in connection with Dr Shivarama Karanath Layout to June 6. A total of 34,000 sites are coming up in the layout, with nearly 10,000 to be allotted to the public. It cannot be notified until the court gives the green signal.

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