India, an emerging name everywhere except for the motorsports, had now fulfilled that gap as well. As reported, the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) is awarded a Grade 2 certification from Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), which means except the Formula 1 races all the rest of events from international motorsports can be held here.
The track is located at Sriperumbudur, outskirts of Chennai, and measures 3.7 kilometre. Series like World Endurance Championship, GT Racing, DTM, Indycar and many more can now be seen happening out there.
Presently, the circuit is in the process of revamping the infrastructure. It can be seen like pit garages housed with hospitality, and a media centre above all. Several of them can also be named at run-off areas, race control room, Armco barriers and kerbs. Measures too are taken on the safety of track for the competitors.
It wasn’t a day’s work to get the certification, said Ajit Thomas, President of MMSC. He further explained the association was working with the FIA since years and official have kept visiting it regularly for a tabular check. The track has proven as a breeding ground for Indian drivers like Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok. With the evolvement of this racetrack to the Grade 2 certification many other aspirers will now get a chance to hone their driving skills and, who know we may get some more promising face in racing from India soon!
The MMRT is the country’s first FIA certified racetrack, and it was thrown open for races since 1990. But the officials have confirmed that there aren’t plans of making it compatible to F1. Instead, they replied the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Noida is perfect. MMRT’s focus is to offer affordable testing as well as racing venue for motorsport, automotive manufacturers and their suppliers to test their latest projects. The premise is also rented to enthusiasts at times for events like track days, driver & rider training programs. This year, it was booked for more than 230 days, the highest since track was inaugurated.
Commenting about the MMRT, India’s first F1 driver, Narain Karthikeyan, said, the racetrack is like a home to him. He had enjoyed all the time when on tracks, claiming the layout is seriously challenging. This certification is not only making him joyous but also pressing some status on the career quo of young drivers.
Karun Chandhok, another former Formula 1 and Formula E driver from India do commented his heart out, said, some of his fond memories are associated with this racetrack. He had seen it improving it years after years. And now finally it got the international acclamation which is bliss for the driver of future to gain the international title. Though, quite affordable on the pockets, MMRT is very challenging in nature to nurture the racing spirit and also hone the skills. Championships like Le Mans series, GT Asia, Asian and Japanese Super GT are some of the names that may see hosting the races here once when the racetrack will be completely revamped.