The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Indian motorsport shake-out imminent

Calcutta: Equations could soon be redrawn in Indian motorsport circles, with the power structure finally seeing a gradual shift.

For decades, the Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India (FMSCI), has dominated the Indian four-wheeler sporting scenario. Much has happened in many tumultuous years, much good and much bad blood. The latter resulted in the breakaway Motorsports Association of India (MAI) taking shape under Nazir Hoosein.

While the Union government still recognises the FMSCI, such “recognition” is only of academic interest as far as four-wheeler motorsport in this country is concerned. And with the FIA giving “definitive affiliation” (in sports category) to the MAI in its general assembly in Paris in October, there is talk now of burying a rather rusty hatchet.

And the only way to do that would be for clubs now affiliated with the FMSCI to slowly seek rallying/racing permits from the MAI. FMSCI’s case was rather weak at the October meeting, with FIA chairman Max Moseley himself noting that “the sporting power in Indian had been discussed within the FIA more than any other case, and despite requests from the General Assembly that the two organisations should come together and work for motor sport in India, all the FMSCI had done over the past two years was to seek by every means to go against the will of the FIA General Assembly, to retain sporting power, to bring litigation…”

It was a condemnation as strong as any. Moseley, arguably one of the most powerful men in the world of sport, did not feel good about the whole thing. Whatever goodwill FMSCI had, was done in through several minute pokes and probes.

And the shift seems to have started. With the licensing authority identified clearly, this was the only logical thing to do. There is discontent among clubs with the FMSCI inertia, there is disgust with the way matters have been handled in FIA, and there is unease over the lack of utilisation of the FIM license that the FMSCI does have.

Lookout for a big shakeout.

One hopes, in the long run, motorsport gets a fresh lease of life, whoever runs in this country.

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