The Indian motorsport community needs immediate support to thrive. Else, its future is uncertain.
India has excelled in sports over the years. The country has made a name for itself in the field of cricket, hockey, etc. India has also performed well in the Olympic Games, bringing in several medals. However, when it comes to motorsports, the country is lacking behind compared to other nations.
A few, such as Rajini Krishnan, Aravind K.P, and Narayan Kartikeyan have excelled in motorsport. However, most of them could only manage to make it to the national level. In the international front, there has not been much accomplishment.
Lack of support from the government has kept the motorsport industry from blooming. The Ministry of Sport has a budget for sports like cricket, hockey, and football- however; there is no budget for motorsport.
There is only a small number of racing academies in the country – seven to be exact. In Bengaluru, the Apex Racing Team has been functioning since 2010. The academies are recognized by the governing authority of The Federation of Motor Sports Club in India (FMSCI).
However, the FMSCI is a privately owned body which is recognized by the Indian government. It is not controlled or run by the government of India. Since it is not run by the government, it does not get receive any fund from the government. The FMSCI relies more on funds from private entities.
One of the major problems is the amount of money required to take part in motorsport, it is very high compared to any other sport since it requires materials like racing suits, gloves, boots and helmets which do not come cheap.
Affording such gears is difficult. So, motorsport remains a game for rich people only. Even if gears are acquired, the facilities and infrastructure of the racing academies are nowhere near the ones present in foreign countries like England, Australia, the United States or Spain.
The softcopy newspaper spoke to Parikshit Basu who is a member of the Calcutta Motorsports Club who said: “Motorsport, be it any kind, is in a nascent stage still in our country. In a country where 99% of people view their vehicle (motorcycle or car) as a means of commuting, it is no surprise that the Government is least interested.
Indians tend to be less adventurous when they mature. Our upbringing is such that 90% of families only have a baby thinking about how they will revive their fortunes and earn a living, thereby securing their future. Hence, we are always taught to be afraid of life-threatening hobbies or occupations, for example joining the army, etc.”
Basu also said that racing is considered to be the sport of brats whose parents can dish out money for endless vehicles their sons/daughters will crash. While it is true, people often fail to really see the hard work behind the money. If you ask anyone about racing, their first reaction is, “oh they have an easy life, Dad has money”- end of story. First of all, people need to respect the sport, respect the performers, and acknowledge the fact that what they are doing requires courage, it is not everyone’s cup of tea.”
Basu also commented on the Buddha International Circuit saying, “When the F1 car race took place I was so happy that finally, this is a breakthrough but no, a fully equipped F1/moto Grand Prix track is now rented for weddings on weekends. Sad state of our Government, failing to capitalize on such cash-rich sports that are driven by pure passion and skills that cannot be acquired in a short time.”