Fasten your seatbelt and hit the dirt track at the Vizag Autocross to be held on Sunday

The annual motorsport extravaganza is back in the city for the third consecutive year. So, fasten your seatbelt and hit the dirt track at the Vizag Autocross to be held on Sunday at Shriram Panorama Hills in Madhurwada. An entry level motorsport, autocross is a timed competition in which drivers navigate one at a time through a defined course. Unlike road racing and oval racing, in autocross there is only one car on the track, racing against the clock rather than other cars.

The event is being organised by TT Motorsports.

“While motorsport in general is a very expensive sport and is not accessible to everyone, autocross gives the motorsport aficionados a chance to showcase their potential with the most basic car preparation,” says Abbas Taskeen of TT Motorsports. Anyone holding a driving license and owning any car can participate in it.

A test of precision and speed, the participants of autocross are judged on the basis of their lap times and how best they navigate through the speed control elements like cones, chicanes, slaloms and stop boxes. Participants are penalized if they disturb or hit any of the elements.

Cars are categorized on the basis of their engine cubic capacity (c.c.). The following are the seven categories: Up to 1100 cc; 1101 – 1300 cc; 1301 – 1600 cc; 1601 and above; SUV (ground clearance above 180 mm); Vizag Local (for Vizag residents only) and Open category. This classification, as per the guidelines of Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India, is to ensure a level playing field for everyone. Each category will have three winners.

As per the rules of Federation, if there are at least four women entries, then a separate women’s category can be formed. “Last year we had three women entries. This year as well, as of now we have three entries. We are looking forward to form a women’s category,” Taskeen says.

The event has a standard entry fee of Rs 4000. Participants need to register online by logging on to www.ttmotorsports128.com. After filling up all the details, an auto-generated reply goes to their submitted email id. It contains bank details for paying the entry fee and all the documents that needs to be submitted at the venue.

The following are the documents that one needs to submit along with their entry fees - four passport size photos, photocopy of driving license, photocopy of personal accident insurance, photocopy of vehicle insurance, photocopy of vehicle registration, indemnity, authority letter in case the vehicle is not owned by competitor and helmet. In addition to above there is a safety scrutiny of the car. The federation also deputes their representatives to ensure that the event takes place as per the guidelines laid out in the supplementary regulations.

Every year, the event sees experienced participants from Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Vijayawada, Guntur, Bhubaneshwar and Kolkata. Interestingly, Vizag participants are forming teams like Team Xtreme, Team Roadsters, Team Lost Prophets, to compete with teams from other cities. “The competition is very exciting and the lap times are so close that the first spot and second spot have a difference of just one or two seconds. In fact, people from Vizag are custom building their rides and investing in time and money to be the best,” Taskeen adds.

TT Motorsports has seen nearly 50 per cent rise in entries on a year on year basis. “The event is in its third year of running and in these years we have seen some amazing talent from this city and have guided them to National Autocross Championship and other events,” Taskeen says.

In the first year the event saw close to 100 entries. Last year, all the 200 slots were booked and the organisers say that this year too the slots are full and some are waiting list entries. “Unfortunately, we can only accommodate 200 runs in a day since we have to end the event by sunset as per federation rules,” he says.

Apart from organizing the Vizag Autocross, TT Motorsports has organized ‘The Great Escape’ for Mahindra, a rally workshop for people who want to entry into rallying, assisted Tata Motors to conduct off-road driving for their customers. Taskeen himself is a chief post Marshall for the Formula One Grand Prix held at Buddh International Circuit in Noida. Apart from organizing TT Motorsports, he also regularly participates in cross country rallies like Desert Storm, Raid De Himalaya, J.S.B. Car rally.

“With Vizag Autocross, our aim is to make Vizag the motorsports hub of South,” he claims.