“We (RPPL) are planning to have at least five street circuits in India by 2025 as part of the efforts to give Indian motorsport the kind of impetus it deserves to replicate its global success locally,” says Akhil Reddy, chairman and managing director of Racing Promotions Private Ltd.
In an exclusive chat with Sportstar, Akhil said that Racing Promotions wants to create a holistic ecosystem for motorsports in India.
“I (RPPL) would be the first private individual in the world to build so many street circuits in India,” he said. “As part of our endeavour to take the sport to the next level, we have started a National-level karting championship featuring six cities,” Akhil added.
“The top six from each city will compete in the finals here in Hyderabad on June 4. Importantly, the winner will get a 100 per cent scholarship for the two-stroke championship this July. We will be supporting by way of free entry, providing a car, a mechanic and if possible training too,” Akhil said.
“Later, we will pick the top five drivers from the Rotax Racing championship to have a separate competition amongst themselves from our side. Here, the winner will get a free seat in Formula 4 which otherwise would cost 2.8 lakh Euros. And, whoever wins the Formula 4 this year will get a free seat in Formula 3 which again will be about 3 lakh Euros for a driver to get into a car for the full season,” he explained.
“For this year, we are also offering international drivers for F-4 a cheap seat. I am offering the cheapest seat for them. The Indian drivers who want to participate will get an additional 25 per cent discount,” Akhil said.
“So, essentially we are determined to create a path for the youngsters. For instance, we will be identifying four Engineering colleges in each City and from each one of them, one student (mechanical engineering and automobile engineering) will be picked on merit. These four will get internships when the season is happening,” he said.
“MP Motorsports are the technical partners and just imagine for training in Silverstone in London they will be charging 25,000 Pounds. We will be providing this for free,” he said.
“Significantly, we are also trying to ensure a pool of mechanics, identifying four from each city, and making them work with Europeans to master the skills. They will get a chance to tour Asia, Europe. I am pretty confident many Indians, who are known for their hard work, will make the cut,” Akhil said.
“So, we are confident of seeing in the next couple of years, two or three Indians in each Formula Race,” he added.
“The biggest positive of IRL, which was the world’s first and only city-teams-based racing league for which we have exclusive rights, is the kind of interest it has generated. This is evident by the 20 per cent increase in admissions to the karting centres,” he said.
“Definitely, I feel we have done a very good job comparatively in promoting the sport. The fact that contrary to our expectations of about 200 entries in each city, we got about 600 and we were forced to restrict the number to 300 for obvious reasons,” he explained.
“I don’t think motorsport is an elite sport. Look at the amount spent by the parents in getting their kids into a full-fledged cricket academy or tennis or football or in golf. They are very expensive. The only difference in karting is that you need to start at a very young age of four to five years and a kid can own a kart costing Rs 1.25 lakhs. Unlike in the past, you are not importing any more, they are available in India,” Akhil said.
“I believe these street circuits bring even the common man to the sport as they will be permanent circuits on the outskirts of the city where they will understand teamwork and technicalities. This will ensure they get interested and also get a feel of the adrenaline rush they get by watching the races. That way a massive awareness is created. Definitely, we are trying to do something extraordinary for the motor sport in the coming months,” he said.
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