Motorsports: Grand Prix racing returns to India

The Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore will be hosting the KMS50, the Grand Prix racing meet, for the first time since 2003.

B.Vijayakumar (right) and J. Balamurugan share a laugh after the race for the Saloon cars in the KMS50 that got off to a flying start at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore.   -  RAYAN ROZARIO

For the first time since its inception in 2003, the Kari Motor Speedway here is playing host to a Grand Prix racing meet, the KMS50. It did take many by surprise but not its organisers Spitfire and Meco Motorsports.

“We have been planning it for some time but the motivation factor was the renovation of the track. We wanted to run an event that recaptures the passion of the good old days, giving racers a true racing experience,” said B. Vijayakumar, the track owner.

“The last GP in India for normal cars was probably in the late eighties at Sholavaram,” said J. Balamurugan, Director, Spitfire and Chairman of the meet.

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“I am quite excited to participate in the 50-lap race. It brings me sweet memories of Sholavaram. I am planning to take it easy and drive non-stop by conserving the car, the drive train and the tyres and above all myself,” said D. Vidyaprakash, veteran racing star.

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Former national champion Arjun Narendran is as eager to be on the car. “The crucial part will be the driver change and fueling. It is the first time and could be a big learning experience for all of us,” he said.

Of course, there weren’t any frills outside the track but the event in itself is phenomenal given the many classes for bikes, Formula and Saloon cars.

“It is a very inclusive event and we have more than 100 entries, both veterans and youngsters,” said Balamurugan.

Interestingly, the event attracted quite a few ladies, who not only raced but also played the role of the officials.

The sprint events took off on Saturday but the 50-lapper showdowns for the Formula and Saloon cars are slated for Sunday.

“We want to make it an annual affair as it is racing in its purest form. The teams have the flexibility to plan their race strategies as long as they conform to the regulations. Our aim is to give a fair, safe and inclusive event,” concluded Balamurugan.

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