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The Federation of Motorsports Clubs of India and the Ceylon Motor Sports Club have joined hands with Chennai-based Ultimate E to bring back the Indo-Ceylon GP this Sunday. The event is also supported by the FIA Race At Home initiative and the FIA Action for Road Safety
After garnering a lot of interest as well as participation from across the motorsports as well as e-sports fraternity from across India, the Ultimate E Racing series, the full-time esports wing of the X1 Racing League, India’s first city-based motorsports championship has now truly gone international. This is because Ultimate E recently joined hands with the FMSCI (Federation of Motor Spots Clubs of India) as well as the Ceylon Motor Sports Club, Sri Lanka’s national motosport governing authority and an affiliate of the FIA (Federation Internationale de Automobile) for a one-of-a-kind international opportunity, but more on that later.
Now, few people may know this, but India and Sri Lanka share quite a rich motorsport history. Before the MMRT (Madras Motor Race Track) had been created, the premier races in India were held at the Sholavaram racetrack, a makeshift structure built at the eponymous decommissioned airfield about 25km from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. These races, dubbed the Indo-Ceylon Grand Prix were frequented by many of the top motorsport personalities of the time.
Hence, the aim behind Ultimate E fostering this collaboration is essentially to revive the Indo-Ceylon GP, albeit in a virtual avatar, giving gamers in India as well as Sri Lanka the opportunity to participate in an international competition, all while in the comfort and safety of their own homes. The association between Ultimate E and the two motorsports federations is path breaking for eSports in both India and Sri Lanka, and will witness each country’s best gamers compete against each other for the top honours.
Having already hosted a variety of events, including the Ultimate E Race for a Cause charity event on PC and PS4 platforms every weekend, this unique format of Ultimate E gives all gamers and sim racers an opportunity to participate using the game Gran Turismo Sport. Nationwide trials have already been held in both Sri Lanka and India over the last few days, where registered participants were given the opportunity to prove themselves. Each team will select six top gamers to represent their country.
Thus far, the Ultimate E esports series has seen regular participation from racers such as Narain Karthikeyan, Arjun Maini, Karthik Tharani, Sohil Shah and Advait Deodhar. And now with the inclusion of Sri Lanka’s top motorsport talent, the popularity, as well as participation of the Ultimate E e-sports series may see an even steeper graph.
Speaking on the upcoming occasion, Armaan Ebrahim, co-founder, X1 Racing League and Ultimate E, said, “We are extremely excited to join hands with the FMSCI and the CMSC to bring back the Indo-Ceylon GP in a modern and unique format. We hope that this will bring in more interest and help to grow the gaming as well as India’s and Sri Lanka’s motorsport community. I would like to that both federations for supporting us in this initiative. We aim to reach out to more countries in the weeks to come.”
The positivity was echoed by J Prithviraj, president, FMSCI, who said, “This is a good initiative to keep ourselves engaged with the sport during the current crisis period and we are happy to endorse the event along with CMSC. Wishing the event all the best and look forward for many such events in future.”
Finally, Niroshan Pereira, president, Ceylon Motor Sports Club, said, “This will be a surely be a first of many more in the future and I am sure our two ASN’s will go down in history as having taken this stand to restart motorsports in a manner fitting to the objectives of the FIA.”
The races will be aired live on both the Ultimate E Official Youtube and Twitch channels at 7pm on Sunday, May 17. As always, further information can be found on the Ultimate E Official Instagram and Facebook pages.