Chennai track may host night races

Vicky Chandhok, vice-president of the MMSC, said plans are on to make the MMRT a destination for night racing.

Upgraded Paddock Complex was unveiled at the Madras Motor Race Track(MMRT) in Irungattukottai on Friday.   -  M. Vedhan

In what could be a major boost for racing in Chennai, the Madras Motor Sport Club (MMSC) is planning to introduce night racing at the Madras Motorsport Race Track (MMRT), near Chennai.

This comes after the MMSC unveiled a significant upgrade to the paddock-related facilities on Friday. A new pit complex with garages and hospitality suites has been developed. It can now accommodate 20 pit garages, a spectator viewing terrace and VIP hospitality suites that can accommodate up to 400 people along the the pit-lane on the eastern side.

Vicky Chandhok, vice-president of the MMSC, said plans are on to make the MMRT a destination for night racing. "We want to keep upgrading. We have replaced all normal cameras to HD ones. Our focus now shifts to the drag racing, endurance racing and more importantly have night racing. Our immediate task is to provide adequate lighting for the safety of marshalls and make headlights compulsory and then night racing can be a reality soon," he said.

"We would also want the TCR racing series in Chennai. It is an exciting series. We are also want four rounds (two rounds of car racing and two rounds of bikes) of the Asian Road Racing Championship. Our focus is to have at least two international events a year," he added.

The development work has already received rave reviews from the competitors and aficionados. The spacious garages for the teams allow the competitors and their teams to have plenty of space to work on their cars and bikes.

The new pit complex follows on from the upgrade done to the race control room with state-of-the-art hardware installed last year as well as a drag strip. A second paddock on the western side with its own short circuit allows the MMSC to effectively split the track into two and host two separate events concurrently.

Also being developed is a full-fledged, permanent rally track measuring 7.5 kms. The MMSC is working closely with triple Asia-Pacific Rally champion Gaurav Gill to start a driving academy in the near future.

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