Former racer Akbar Ebrahim has been elected as the new president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), the governing body for motorsport activities in the country. Ebrahim, who represents Meco Motor Sports, takes over from J Prithviraj as the new FMSCI President. This will be his second term heading the Indian motorsport federation, having done so in the past between 2016-2018. In addition, Farooq Ahmed was elected as the Vice President at the 47th FMSCI Annual General Meeting held via a virtual conference. Ahmed represents the Motor Sports Club of Chikmagalur.
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Akbar Ebrahim is a multiple national championship winner and has been a part of the FMSCI Council for years. He's also been actively involved in developing motorsports at grassroots level, especially karting. Ebrahim steps in at a time when Indian motorsport is undergoing a challenging period. With the COVID-19 severely affecting all disciplines of racing, the task would be to ensure future events take place in a safe manner.
Speaking on his appointment, Akbar Ebrahim said, "I would like to thank the general body members, outgoing president and vice president, current councillors and new councillors of the FMSCI for their unanimous support in mandating me as the President for another term in office. I would also like to congratulate Mr Farooq Ahmed on his election as Vice President which was unanimous and with no contest. Going forward, it is without doubt, going to be a very challenging and tough year given the unprecedented pandemic situation the whole world is facing. I am sure that the FMSCI will collectively rise to the occasion and manage the situation to the best of its ability. I am also sure that in the coming days, weeks and months, sport will start to flourish and bring back the smiles on each and every one of us who are passionate about the sport."
The outgoing President, J Prithviraj said, "I place on record my gratitude and thanks to the entire motor sport fraternity for the support during my tenure as President. Motor sport was also affected because of Covid- 19, things are looking brighter now and trust we will be in top gear soon."
J Prithviraj's term was a controversial one, which included one of the biggest incidents to occur in the history of Indian motorsport. It is the accident during the Rally of Jodhpur that happened last year, which saw Arjuna Awardee Gaurav Gill's car collide with a motorcycle that strayed on the rally course. The incident was attributed to poor management by the marshalls and claimed three lives. Prithviraj was the Clerk of the Course (COC), and was handed a three-year ban in relation to the incident, preventing him from officiating events. However, the ban was overturned earlier this year by the Indian Motor Sport Appellate Committee.
At present, the FMSCI boasts of more than 50 affiliates across all corners of the country. There are over 1200 registered athletes in India that compete in national and international events including Formula 2, 3, and 4. Members from the fraternity are in various sporting commissions of both the FIA and the FIM.
After the unprecedented hiatus, Indian motorsport is all set to begin racing again. The FMSCI has already announced the shortened version of the 2020 INRC season that will take place in December, until end of January 2021. The organisers have also come up with their own COVID-19 SOPs that will need to be followed at all motorsport events going forward.