Motorsport

Volkswagen open to national championships

Bernhard Gobmeier and Sirish Vissa.

Bernhard Gobmeier and Sirish Vissa.  

Wants FMSCI to put in a platform and lay down a set of regulations

Even as the popularity of motorsport has been growing steadily in India, the lack of serious manufacturer involvement in any of the national championships has been a big let down. Except for TVS, in the two-wheeler championship, none of the manufacturer fields a factory team and prefer to go with their own one-make series.

When it comes to four-wheelers, the situation is even worse. The Volkswagen Group is the only major manufacturer to have a presence in the Indian motorsport programme with its one-make series, starting with Polo Cup followed by Vento Cup and the Ameo Cup currently.

While these one-make series provide quality vehicles and bring with them backing of the professionalism of a big corporates, the lack of serious competition, has not helped in taking the sport to the next level.

Speaking on the sidelines of the round three of the Ameo Cup on Saturday, Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India and Bernhard Gobmeier, Director, VW Group Motorsport said the VW group was more than willing to compete with other teams provided a stable set of regulations was made available.

Gobmeier said, “In India, like in China, the concept of competition where you show who is the best and quickest, is not there.” The cups like Vento or Ameo are good to get young people in and teach how to race, he added, “If we can have a baseline and then get other companies to compete it will be great. We need to establish something solid at an affordable level on equal basis.”

The Indian Touring Car championship currently has only privateers participating with cars from different manufacturers and Vissa feels the presence of just one factory team will only kill the sport.

“Today ITC is privateers domain. If VW come in, we are going to get the best drivers and put resources to make sure car is competitive. If we are finishing in top three, then there is nothing for the rest. So we will kill the sport. Unless we have multiple brands, then it is a precarious situation.”

Vissa added, “We need the FMSCI to put in a platform and lay down a set of regulations and say this where the future of racing or rallying in India will be. They have to then reinforce it with meeting manufacturers and showcase that this is something they can use.”

“I am happy to sit down with FMSCI and other companies to establish a regulation. But the FMSCI needs to put everyone together. We are happy to help but the step has to come from them.”

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Printable version | May 22, 2020 1:13:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/motorsport/volkswagen-open-to-national-championships/article19526026.ece

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