New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) With the Champions Yatch Club coming on board as the new promoters of the Indian National Rally Championship (INRC), the rallying is expected to get a new a lease of life.
The new promoters, led by Vamcy Merla, CEO and Director of the group, vows to revolutionise the sport in the country with the main benefactors being the drivers.
“We as promoters are driver-friendly. Our main focus would be to work towards the betterment of drivers. I know there are a lot of people involved in making an event successful, but the main role is played by drivers. Our aim will be to give more to existing drivers and develop a new crop of upcoming enthusiasts,” Vamcy told IANS during an interview.
When asked what are in store for drivers this year, he said, “First of all, we will raise the prize money by 100 per cent. As part of my deal with the local motorsport clubs who will conduct the event in their respective cities, the prize money will have to be given by them. Whatever they give, we will make it double from our side.”
“We have decided to make the entry free for participants of Junior INRC into the main INRC. We will also make the entry free for ladies who want to participate. Also, whoever wins the JINRC Rs 2.5 lakh will be given to them,” he said.
Talking about the investment they are looking to make to change the face of INRC, he quipped: “Trust me, we are going to make a huge investment. We have an agreement with the federation about not disclosing the amount. But it is going to big and several notches higher than what the last promoters did.”
Vamcy, himself an off-rider and an avid motorsport lover, believes motorsport is still a niche in the country and he wants to change that perception.
“People follow World Rally Championship (WRC) globally because they made the rallies accessible for fans. The same way, I would want to change how Indian fans view it and with the right plan we’ll be able to broadcast it with a 14-camera setup along with a broadcast van,” he said.
“People will be enthralled to see the drifts on a fast track and it will increase interest. There have been timing issues in various rallies. I have made it a point that all timings will be put up right after the stage is over and not wait for anything else. Earlier, they used to do it manually but now it’ll all be automatic and accurate,” he remarked.
The season for INRC 2019 will begin this weekend in Bangalore with a curtain raiser event. The main rounds will begin in June and conclude in December with six rounds at Chennai, Coimbatore, Kochi, Chikmangalur, Bangalore and Bikaner.
Even though they are in the nascent stage of promotership, Vamcy believes they have everything in place and for sure will do a great job in achieving their goals. He said they will work towards creating better infrastructure and pool of talented drivers, which will help in taking the sports forward.
“Any sport in this world demands continuity! For example, Sachin Tendulkar retired but cricket didn’t and Virat Kohli somewhat replaced him. We need to develop ample infrastructure and interest among the youth,” he said.
“We can have more drivers only if more people are interested in understanding the nuances of the sport and that can only happen with more training schools, the right guidance, etc,” he concluded.
(Baidurjo Bhose can be contacted at [email protected])