Age no barrier as Vicky Chandhok returns to competitive racing

The 61-year-old will pilot the Volkswagen Polo R2 rally car alongside co-driver Chandramouli from Benglauru in the first round of the Indian National Rally Championship to be held at the recently upgraded facility at the MMRT.

Vicky Chandhok will make a return to competitive racing during the first round of the Indian National Rally Championship to be held at the MMRT in Chennai on April 28 and 29.    -  M. Vedhan

Former FMSCI President and national champion Vicky Chandhok will make a return to competitive racing during the first round of the Indian National Rally Championship to be held at the MMRT in Chennai on April 28 and 29. 

The 61-year old last raced back in 2000 in the South India Rally before becoming an administrator and managing his son Karun Chandhok’s motorsport career that saw the latter become only the second Indian driver in Formula One.

Chandhok will pilot the Volkswagen Polo R2 rally car alongside co-driver Chandramouli from Benglauru in the first rally that will be held in the recently upgraded facility at the MMRT. On what prompted him to return to racing, Chandhok said, “Frankly it was the hardware. The last race I did in 2000 was in the Mitsubishi Lancer. So when I had a chance to test the VW Polo R2, which is a thoroughbred rally car with 1600 HP engine and rally gearbox and hand brakes. I wanted to try it competitively.”

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Chandhok however added that he will start with just one round before taking a call for the rest of the season. “I am under no illusions or expecting miracles in terms of performance. I want to test myself against the new crop of racers that we have and see how the standards have evolved, be it up or down.

“This also gives us a chance to find out if we have a talent like a Gaurav Gill that we have now spotted till now and identify them and help them.”

An interesting part about his comeback is that Chandhok will be guided by a co-driver he has not met so far. “The co-driver Chandramouli is someone Gaurav Gill and Amittrajit Ghosh recommended. I have never met him. The first meeting we will have is next Thursday at the track. So it should be interesting.”