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Exclusive: INRC Promoter Vamcy Merla speaks about the 2019 Curtain Raiser & Season

394   //    19 Mar 2019, 00:57 IST

Vamcy Merla Manging Director of Champions Group
Vamcy Merla- CEO of Champions Group

The new promoters of the INRC series, the Champions Yacht Club has joined hands with the Karnataka Motor Sports Club (KMSC) to conduct a two-day event "Sprint De Bengaluru" as the curtain raiser for the 2019 Indian National Rally Championship.

The sprint consists of six short stages with a total distance of 30kms, of which two will be night stages run on Saturday and the remaining of the four stages will be run on Sunday.

The INRC was the premium National Champion series in the Indian calendar but sadly crashed due to lack of factory teams, sponsors, etc. This affected the smooth running of the series with the stage distances being cut down and eventually ended up in single day rallies.

The Chairman of the Champions group Subhakar Rao and Vamcy Merla have some grand plans to bring the event back to the former glory or even better.

Vamcy spoke to Sportskeeda ahead of the INRC's launch,

We decided on having the Sprint as the curtain raiser as the city has a great legacy with Motorsport and Rallying in particular. The event should serve as the warm-up for the drivers taking part in this year's championship.
Vamcy Merla - The Managing Director of Champions Group

In Vamcy's opinion, better drivers, better cars, and better sponsors are key to the progress of the sport. The Champions Group conducted a rally training session with the World Rally driver and the country best rallyist Gaurav Gill in a bid to help and improve the performance of drivers.

The 4 wheel drive class should help in bringing faster cars into the championship, and this class will likely be considered for the overall honors in 2020 season. This year's Championship will also see an increase in the Women drivers with the introduction of a special Ladies Category.


When asked about the progress of motorsport in the country, Vamcy replied,

Motorsport is an expensive affair and I'm trying my best to get this sport what it actually deserves. The country has great talent but many talented drivers' quit the sport due to financial reasons.

When questioned about the role of the Indian government in the Motorsport industry, Vamcy said,

Complete progress can be achieved only with the help of the Indian Government. The Government has to subsidize the parts and equipment used in Motorsports, each driver ends up paying lakhs of rupees as Customs Duty every year.
The Government needs to understand these parts are not manufactured or available in the country, while some of them are only made to order. The cars are not used for any other purpose other than rallying.
The drivers need to come together and emphasize on the subsidy, I will give my complete support to them and personally holds talks with the necessary organizations to get the best output in this regard.
We are a developing country with so many automobile manufacturers, ancillary units, petroleum companies, and many others related to cars. These companies should come forward and support young talent in order to produce future world champions

The 2019 Calendar is likely to begin in Chennai on the 28th of June with the South India Rally being the first on the calendar. The recommended clubs for this year's championship are Coimbatore, Chikmagalur, Kochi, Bangalore, and Bikaner.

*Hosting clubs is subject to approval from the FMSCI