After the successful running of India’s first Formula 1 race last October, the world of motorsport has come knocking on Jaypee Sport International Limited’s door. The owners of the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) are planning to host several high-profile motorsport events at the track in the near future. This includes the FIA GT1 championship, World Superbike Series (WSBK) and the pinnacle of two-wheeler racing, MotoGP.
To begin with, JPSI has already confirmed that the FIA GT1 World Championship will conduct its last race of the 2012 season in Greater Noida. To be held on December 2, this will be the final race of the nine-round championship. The GT1 World Championship series features cars like the McLaren MP4 12C-GT3, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, Aston Martin DBRS9 and V12 Vantage GT3, Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 and many more. All of these are cars from luxury and supercar manufacturers that have already made their presence felt in India, and are looking to make more inroads into the garages of moneyed Indians. ‘The cars we race are the cars you buy’ - it’s a philosophy as old as motorsport itself.
Motorcycle manufacturers aren’t too far behind, either. With the promoters of BIC aiming to hold three high profile international events a year, one of which is Formula 1, MotoGP has also been vying for space in India. Reports suggest that the Indian GP will be the season opening event in 2013. This advances the racing season by a full month. MotoGP usually kicks off with its first race in April every year, usually with the night race at Qatar. Since the months April to June are unlikely to be considered for racing owing to India’s weather conditions, the MotoGP season will start as early as March. Reports that India will be the first race on the calendar have even reached the teams. Reigning champions Repsol Honda team’s PR arm says that “recent information in fact that it seems that the Indian GP will be the first round of the 2013 calendar” (sic). Though there is no official statement from Carmelo Ezpelata, the head of Dorna (the group that runs MotoGP), the organisers have indicated that such a move is indeed on the cards.
Motorcycle racing fans have more treats in store. Two-wheeler racing’s other great draw - WSBK - will also be in India next year. Speaking to Business Standard, Paolo Flammini, the CEO of In Front Sports (the organisers of WSBK), didn't quite confirm the rumours that the championship would kick off next year neither did he deny them. Instead he declared he hoped to “be able to contact you in two to three weeks' time in order to provide you with reliable information on the matter.”
Meanwhile, Askari Zaidi, senior vice president of JPSI said, “Both WSBK and MotoGP really do want to come down to India and we are in the process of sorting out the nitty-gritties.” Zaidi went on to say that “the talks have reached an advanced stage with both championship series.” It has been reported that the series will be held on the 9th and 10th of March 2013.
That’s not all. Hosting other tin-top racing series like the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) and V8 Supercar Championship is not being ruled out. A formal press conference about the calendar of events and championship listing is expected to be held by JPSI in the last week of this month or early July.