In an unprecedented move to in the Indian motor racing world, the Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC) conducted a four-hour floodlit night racing test session, which attracted more than 100 participants at the MMRT track in Sriperumbudur.
Making history in the record of Indian Motor Career Racing, The MMSC conducted a four-hour floodlit night racing programme which includes India’s top ranking Formula 1 racers including 1 racer Karun Chandhok, Aditya Patel, Chetan Korada, Arfath Mohammed, Karthik Tharani, Ishaan Dodhiwala and ex-rally driver Ranjit Ballal hailed MMSC’s efforts to provide another dimension to motor racing in India.
Karun Chandhok, who has raced at night at Le Mans and F1 testing in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, said: “I think what they (the MMSC) have done is very good. We should do more of these events as they will whet the appetite of the people for the sport. I did a few laps here tonight.”
“The visibility was much better than what I expected. Everyone at the club knows the areas to improve. I think, night racing is entirely doable with saloon cars, but with single-seaters, I think there is still a lot of work to do.”
The night session was conducted in a full-fledged racing environment with temporary floodlight towers and Marshals manning the posts around the circuit and other safety precautions.
All the participants attended a mandatory pre-session briefing by MMSC vice-president Vicky Chandhok on racing regulations and safety, while the first-timers were taken around in a convoy behind the safety car to learn the racing lines before being allowed to drive at pace.
MMSC president Ajit Thomas said: “It is a very exciting evening for us. Globally track days are a great way to get people interested in the sport and we realised that with the hot weather in Chennai we needed to do something different. Based on this response and interest, we are hopeful of running a few events.”
Former racer and rally champion Harish Samtani applauded MMSC’s latest initiative.
“No question that this is a brilliant idea. Globally, night racing, F1 for instance, is catching up. It brings a different paradigm in motorsport. Of course, this is just the beginning. It is now up to MMSC to set up a proper, safe lighting environment where one can do serious racing. Definitely, it (night racing) is here to stay,” he said.