Lights go green | Buddh International Circuit now open for track days
The coronavirus pandemic brought the entire world to a standstill and that includes the global motorsport fraternity as well. Racetracks around the world are shut and racing communities now engaged into virtual racing. Thankfully, there are increasing signs of things returning to pre-COVID19 normalcy. India’s favourite racing track, the F1-spec Buddh International Circuit too is now open for track days with the strictest of sanitisation measures in place.
To understand how the racetrack was dealing with the post lockdown days, we spoke to Rajiv Murishwar, head of the Buddh International Circuit. Speaking on track maintenance during the lockdown, Rajiv commented, “Engineers and our regular staff have ensured that everything is spick and span and functional. These people stayed back at our guesthouse that has all the required facilities. Track cleaning, system checks, maintenance of electricals and even the horticulture around the circuit was well taken care of by our team.” Naturally, for an F1-grade track, maintenance is crucial in ensuring smooth transition back into operations when the permissions are granted, and things seem to run smoothly on this front.
Moving on to what certainly is the most important topic of the year – sanitisation and social distancing measures. One would assume that such a large circuit with abundance of space would not demand strict protocols, but the management at BIC are not taking any chances. Stringent measures are in place to ensure that the adrenaline junkies can relish the track without any risk. “Our pit lane and garages are regularly sanitized and everyone who enters BIC gets their temperature checked by our medical team. If needed, the team will take care of the situation. Our customers are asked to bring their own protective equipment like masks and sanitizers. In case they don’t bring, we will provide the necessary kit” quotes Rajiv.
And that’s not it, closed areas where people could involuntarily violate the social distancing norms are also being taken care of. Take the race control room for example. Earlier, about 25 people were allowed in the race control room for briefing but now only 8 will be allowed and they will enter in batches. Moreover, the management is addressing the potential loopholes in sanitisation quite carefully, as even the indemnity forms are being filled by the BIC staff and not by the customers, avoiding any further possibility of contact. And despite these measures, the Buddh International Circuit currently has a large operational capacity. With each of the 41 garages being limited to four people, the track can still handle 160 bikes or 80 cars at any given point.
That said, the BIC now has special rates and special packages for its customers, including corporate clients, media and other individuals and groups (details in the Instagram post above). With that, let’s hope for track activities to resume soon so that enthusiasts like us can dance around the track in a fast car or bike, forgetting everything 2020 has thrown at us.