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Former FIA vice-president and Indian motorsport legend Nazir Hoosein passes away

Team OD  | Updated: May 13, 2019, 11:27 AM IST

Former racer, race organiser and motorsport administrator, Nazir Hoosein, has passed away. Hoosein was one of the most prominent names in Indian motorsport, often being credited with putting India on the global racing map, as one of the founders of the popular Himalayan Rally.

He was also the head of the Motorsport Association of India, former FMSCI president, and served as vice president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) in the past. He also served as a chief steward in the World Rally Championship (WRC), was a steward at Formula 1 races, and was a member of the World Motor Sport Council.

Nazir Hoosein surrounded by motorsport tomes in his office at Liberty Cinema in Mumbai in 2015 (Photo: Makarand Baokar)

Hoosein was bitten by the motorsport bug early on in his life, and the fascination for all things automotive grew steadily from there. On his 16th birthday, he was presented with his father's Jaguar XK120, a car that had raced and won trophies at the Juhu Races in Mumbai. Soon after this, he, along with his friend Mohinder 'Chubi' Lalwani, opened the Alpha Garage. And, not too long after that, their racing team - Double Barrels Team Alpha - took to competition. He continued his involvement with motorsport, while also running the Liberty Cinema - an Art Deco landmark in Mumbai.

Perhaps Hoosein's biggest achievement, was the Himalayan Rally (and the Great Desert Himalayan Rally), which he organised as the head of the Himalayan Rally Association. It was an event that attracted competitors from all over the world, and enjoyed the patronage of the then president of the country, the late R.Venkataraman.

Hoosein was known for his exactitude, his attention to detail, and for his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things motorsport - especially the rulebook.

Over the past few years, Hoosein was less involved in motorsport, due to his failing health. His huge contribution to Indian motorsport is undeniable, and he will be missed.

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