Efforts are on to invest heavily in Indian Racing League after putting close to Rs 300 crores into safety equipment and street circuit infrastructure, as Akhil Reddy, chairman and MD of Racing Promotions Private Limited, vows to take the league to the ‘next level’. In that direction, in 2023, another Rs 50 crores will be invested in marketing and operations.
“We are determined to take Indian Racing League to the next level as we see it as an opportunity for aspiring racing drivers to showcase their skills on a national platform with broadcast in the biggest sports network in the country surely increases the visibility of the sport,” Akhil said in an interview with Sportstar.
“We will try and remove the entry barriers into motorsports by building an ecosystem in the grassroots for karting and sim racing which enables everyone to participate,” he said.
Akhil, however, admitted that there are challenges associated with producing the racing league, which requires heavy investment.
“The journey of the Indian Racing League (IRL) has been very challenging, to say the least, but fun nonetheless. no sports league is easy to execute, and motorsports is at the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to cost or safety or execution or regulation. So our journey, albeit just begun and fresh, is still very exciting, and still very much day zero, and lots more to achieve,”Akhil explained.
“The plan is to continue building on the success of season one of IRL, and grow the championship league to be bigger and better every year, be it with small incremental changes in production, execution, event experience, etc. we also intend to launch other championships like the formula regional championship and Formula 4 Indian championship and grow the grassroots,” he said.
Was it disappointing the way things shaped up in the Hyderabad edition earlier this year?
“What is important is how we have bounced back from the first week to execute the first-ever street circuit race in India. There were a few minor teething issues, and because it is a street circuit, we wanted to make sure there are no glitches and instead ran the first weekend as just practice with no races,” Akhil said.
Asked about the future of the IRL, he said, “The league will be one of many IPs launched by Racing promotions, and the focus will be grassroots, particularly in karting and sim racing to promote the sport even further and bring a wider audience to participate in it.”
“We have spent close to Rs. 300 crores so far, and the intent is to invest a further Rs 50 crores annually. In terms of returns, we have a 7-10 year horizon which takes into account the gestation period for a sporting venture, and particularly with motorsports which needs a lot of promotion and education in the market,” Akhil concluded.
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