The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) has announced that the 2020 Indian motorsport season will not be cancelled amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. The motorsport governing body issued a statement after a recent report quoted FMSCI President J Prithviraj saying that the domestic motorsport season could be called off this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. The report further stated that the next season could begin as early as January 2021. However, FMSCI has now confirmed that it does not share the stance on the matter.
A tweet by the FMSCI read, "FMSCI would like to clarify that we, along with all stakeholders, are geared up to start the 2020 motorsports season at the earliest, possibly in September itself. We are only waiting for the government to ease the lockdown and to lift the ban on sporting events in the country."
#FMSCI would like to clarify that we, along with all stakeholders, are geared up to start the 2020 motorsports season at the earliest, possibly in September itself. We are only waiting for the government to ease the lockdown and to lift the ban on sporting events in the country.— FMSCI (@fmsci) July 3, 2020
MMSC Vice-President and Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) President Vicky Chandhok also echoed FMSCI's statement on rescheduling the races to begin by September this year. A positive sign towards the same was the reopening of the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) and the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) as lockdown restrictions eased. The MMRT has been open for practice since June 14 with social distancing protocols in place. The track will also receive several updates including self contained Marshall posts, digital flags and a new grandstand.
However, it needs to be seen how will FMSCI tackle the challenges for the Indian National Rally Championship (INRC). One of India's premier motorsport championships, the INRC is not confined to a race track and that poses its own set of issues with respect to social distancing. The current season was set to begin in March this year but could see the green light by October. The Indian motorsport fraternity also faces other issues including logistical challenges especially for INRC, while sponsors may not be as forthcoming as they used to. Earlier this year, FMSCI announced a stimulus package for organisers and participants to encourage more participation despite the financial restrictions, especially at the grassroots level.