Yes, there are plenty of motorsport events in the country. Some take place at our three racetracks, some occur on dirt trails that even GPS devices find hard to locate, let alone motorsport fans and still more take place in open grounds where cars and motorcycles can go sling mud at others of their ilk. And while these events happen with the alarming frequency with which Sebastian Vettel waves that index finger of his, they're still missing something. What is it then? The zing. That extra something that changes things from races to events. So here's a list of events I'd like to see some day.
The 24 Hours of Madikeri
If you aren't familiar with the place, Madikeri is the largest city in Coorg. It's got lovely, if rather narrow roads, wonderful foliage lining the streets and is thoroughly redolent with small town peace and quiet. And while most people would think of it as a tranquil spot for a bed and breakfast, the motorsport nut can see much more. Picture this, if you will - the 24 Hours of Madikeri! Once a year, the city streets are taken over and converted into a street track, with barriers and lighting and the works. Fans can tuck themselves away at far corners, perhaps some can watch from their balconies, as racecars make their way across the circuit for 24 long hours. And, of course, seeing as it's in the heart of Coorg, there will be plenty of coffee to keep people up all through the night.
Historic races at Sholavaram...
... Juhu, Barrackpore, Alipore and Bangalore. Well, we keep trying to remind people about the glorious past Indian motorsport once had. How about actually letting them see some of it by recreating races gone by at those very venues if possible. If some of the cars are still around, all the better! Other vintage and classic cars ought to be allowed to compete in a special class. And a Sholavaram veterans class is a must!
Mount Abu Hill Climb
Yes, we've all heard of the Nandi Hill Climb that happens once a year near Bangalore. But how about another event so people from other parts of the country can also come by and pretend to be Ari Vatanen! Or, if you have an SX4 with side skirts and spoilers, 'Monster' Tajima. The road is smooth, wide and runs on for a good bit, too. And now that Pikes Peak is tarmac-ed...
Wait, didn't that take place already? Yes, up until the late Eighties the Himalayan Rally was a thoroughly resounding success. So popular was this event, that racers would travel here from far flung places and drive amazing machines through some of the most treacherous terrain available. So, why not just bring it back. With a helicopter on standby to ably assist in case of emergencies, of course.
Rann of Kutch speed runs
It's the closest thing we have to the Bonneville Salt Flats, no? So might as well make use of it. Vast expanses of the Rann, hard packed sand, the sun, and intrepid people trying to set their own speed records. Seeing as stages of the Desert Storm take place here, anyway, it might just work. And wouldn't it have been nice to say that Bert Munroe stopped by here on his Indian?
Gondal Festival of Speed
Why go all the way to Goodwood (not everyone has the money to travel that far) when you could travel to the beautiful palace of Gondal in Gujarat and attend our very own Festival of Speed. The palace grounds host the Maharaja and Yuvraj’s beautiful collection of cars, a veritable feast for the automobile lover. Add a few more vintage and classics, and you’ll have enough metal to ogle at. Besides, tucked away in the palace grounds is a racetrack, which, though small, ought to serve the purpose.
Oh, there are endless possibilities - the Thar Rally, the Shillong Route Rally and several more. What events would you like to see? Write to us!