The 5.5-kilometre circuit in Andhra Pradesh, awaiting FIA Grade 2 certification, is set to become India’s longest racing venue
For a long time, the Indian motorsport community suffered a dearth of racing venues in the country. Until 2010, there were none apart from the Madras Motor Race Track in Irungattukottai in Chennai and the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. The following year witnessed the launch of the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, which brought Formula One to India. After a decade’s gap, the motorsport community is set to welcome three more venues in the next three to four years — Nanoli Speedway track in Pune, Pista Motor Raceway in Dundigal, and Marque One racetrack in Andhra Pradesh.
The last of the three venues is just a two-hour drive from Bengaluru International Airport. Marque One Motor Club is building a 5.5-kilometre track, which will make it India’s longest motorsport racing venue. The club is also awaiting FIA Grade 2 certification, which will make it eligible to host international events, including F2 championships.
“At the moment, racing culture is really limited to three racetracks in India. Having more tracks will increase the racing events in a year — the national championships and other tournaments,” says Shana Parameshwar, the director of Marque One Motor Club.
Shana has been fond of racing since her childhood. Between 2005 and 2009, she was a part of the popular K1000 rally — she has even participated as a safety driver. So, it wasn’t surprising that she wanted a race track close to her hometown. “There were no tracks for racers close to the city. I’ve been wanting to put this together for the last eight to 10 years.” The track is expected to be open within two years.
Shana was involved in the construction of the venue designed by Driven International, a UK-based motorsport venue architect company. She says the circuit will be “intense” and “trigger adrenaline-rush” among the drivers. “We’ve made it pretty scary — within the safety limitations, of course,” she describes the track, “We have a long straight of 1.2 km. We have a big kink (a style of corner or a turn that requires a swift change in direction). We have massive elevation changes as well. We’ll also have a carousel (a circular turn), which is something you’d find in the Nürburgring track in Germany. We also took a big inspiration from the Le Mans track in France in putting a lake in the track. When you’re racing, you have a lot of feedback from the atmosphere and the scenery.”
“We aren’t just building a racetrack; it’s going to be a race resort,” says Shana. The venue will also include an apartment complex, a golf course, sports complex, restaurants, automotive-themed amusement park, 12-garage pit lane, race control and 200-car storage facility.
She is also planning to set up an academy for aspiring racers within the venue. “At the moment in India, it’s really difficult to find a good starting point for racing. We want to introduce a formal education of racing through our academy. It will allow anyone from six years and above to get into go-karting and slowly transition to bigger race cars and eventually to Formula cars,” she adds.
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