In our effort to get expert views and comments before the start of this year’s motorsports season, we got up-close with Sirish Chandran (renowned motorsports analyst and Editor evo India).
Here are a few excerpts from our chat,
Does the introduction of Polos or the Volkswagen team, have any impact on the overall standings – during the past season?
Yes, it has a very big impact. When the Polo entered the INRC in 2013 it was the first new car in the championship after the Cedia that made its debut seven years ago. The impact goes beyond that as the Polo is the only contemporary car that you see on the road as well as in the rallies – all other cars are outdated and most not even on sale. Having the Polo in the IRC helps spectators to relate it to the cars they drive on the road, to work, on weekends. What we need is more such cars – cars like the Swift, Etios, Figo etc in the IRC and that is the only way spectators can relate to the series and follow it.
How challenging or exciting is the tarmac track as compared to the dirt tracks at other locations?
Personally I prefer dirt events because I love the feeling of a car sliding under me. That said I also enjoy tarmac rallies and have always done very well; Nashik has been a happy hunting ground for me as I made my rally debut here and finished on the podium in my very first event.Tarmac rallies call for a lot more precision, accuracy and the speeds are much, much higher. Imagine we take jumps at 160kmph which a sheer drop on one side and the mountain-face on the other. It calls for a lot of courage and demands very, very good pace notes so that you can attack corners with aggression and commitment. The rain also throws an additional challenge.
Is motorsports on the growth path in terms of fan following and / or money being put in the sport, by the sponsors?
Yes. We have seen new teams come in and that is leading to increased awareness in the sport. Our team Slideways Industries now has six Polos in the IRC and we are constantly getting more enquiries. People are interested in the sport, what is required is better media coverage, a good TV package and facilities for spectators, that will ensure more people watch and follow the sport and that will lead to sponsors coming in.