Champions Group have won the bid to promote the FMSCI INRC events from 2019 to 2021. The group has grand plans to improve the standards of the INRC events to international levels, hike the prize money for all the categories and promote new comers to the world of motorsports. Word on the street is that they will also sponsor Autocross events in the country. Subhakar Rao is the chairman of Champions Group while Vamcy Merla is the director of Champions Yacht Club. The INRC events were earlier promoted by RRPM.
Our editor, Sirish Chandran had a quick chat with the chairman of Champions Group about their role as the promoters for INRC. Here is the interview.
Sirish Chandran: Why did you enter the INRC?
Subhakar Rao: Predominantly to give opportunity to a lot of the younger champions and obviously we will work towards that.
SC: This year you’ve had the largest number of drivers in your team, and your team also won the most number of trophies in Popular rally. With so many driver from all classes, is it that you’re not focusing on one particular class and want to promote across classes? What is your strategy for INRC as a team?
SR: More than team, what we’re looking to do is to elevate the entire platform next year. Our team was just one small piece of the entire scope of the tournament, which serves as a platform for enabling the young talent to be able to participate. Next year it will be all about the promotion for the entire INRC as such, so we’re promoting the sport and enabling more companies to participate. For example, as of now we have support from brands like MRF and Mahindra, but we want to see more companies participate as well, so we’re looking to essentially support the entire gamut of the sport as well as building a community around it. So that’s where our focus will be, to have a support system from as many companies as possible participating and giving support.
SC: How do you plan to do that? A challenge for the INRC is the lack of media coverage, not too much manufacturers’ support, it’s a never-ending cycle where nothing seems to be moving and the visibility doesn’t seem to be growing and is stagnant for many years. So how do you plan to break that cycle and get the visibility up?
SR: Sure. Talking about the initiatives around promotion for INRC, we need to look at the core audience whom we still need to reach, so there’s going to be much more push for more publicity. I think doing publicity and getting enough coverage will help to give a superior opportunity and improve the level of play.
SC: You also mentioned about promoting women drivers. What is your plan on that?
SR: As part of our sponsorship deal, we aim to bring in more women drivers to participate. However, there’s a considerable financial aspect which is a part of the process, so we will be paying for that so it becomes easier for everyone to participate.
SC: You also talked about promoting young drivers. How is that going to work?
SR: We’ll be keeping a track of newcomers who have proven themselves, but for some reason are not been able to participate. So we’ll essentially be enabling those kinds of competitors to start their careers.
SC: By doing what? How are you enabling it?
SR: So we’re actually enabling the talent search for the younger folks. We had a small number of participants of which some of them were brand new. They are promising candidates and if they have the support from the initial stages I’m sure I’ll be getting podiums places from them soon. But today it’s not just about the enjoyment factor alone, so next year we’re thinking of elevating the entire sport, we’re not talking just one thing.