The Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India has a new president. J Prithviraj has been involved in motorsport for several years, particularly in the field of rallying. OVERDRIVE caught up with the new FMSCI president and asked him five quick questions.
OD: What prompted you to take on the role as president of the FMSCI?
JP: Within the FMSCI we felt there was a great need to promote motorsport on the whole. And we also felt that perhaps it was time for a change of guard. Some of the core councillors were also keen that I take over and hence I was nominated for election. The idea is to put new systems in place and improve the governance of the sport as a whole.
OD: How do you plan on improving transparency within the sport?
JP: We want to make sure that all the systems and the manner of operation of the Federation are transparent. One of the ways we plan to achieve this is by revamping the website in such a way that all the rules and regulations, revisions to policy and important decisions are immediately made available for competitors and the public. For example, the major decisions taken by various commissions will immediately be available on the website. Moreover all decisions taken will be taken in consultation with tuners and competitors.
OD: Can you tell us a little about your own initiation into motorsport?
JP: Back when I was in college I got interested in motorsport and began organising and taking part in TSD rallies. The next step was when I got involved in rallying as a navigator, competing in rallies like the Scissors Action Rally, Coffee 500 and Cotton City Rally. Organising these rallies was the next step. And a passion for cars got me more and more involved in motorsport. And in 2008 and 2009 I served as the vice-president of the FMSCI.
OD: What are the first steps you will be taking as the president of the FMSCI?
JP: Our aim is to promote grassroot level motorsport and get clubs from smaller cities involved in motorsport. The idea is to promote motorsport in smaller towns where the public and government are willing to help us. We plan on spreading the sport across the country. Other than that we will improve the existing championships. We are also keen on ensuring that the sport is packaged better so that it is more media friendly and we are also able to get television partners as well. For this we have a new committee specifically for marketing communication that will be headed by Sanjay Sharma.
OD: Are you looking at bringing down more motorsport events to the Buddh International Circuit?
JP: We are looking at the possibility of more events. Of course, F1 isnâ€™t in India in 2014, and Bernie Ecclestone has been quoted in media reports as saying that India wonâ€™t be on the F1 calendar in 2015 either. However he retracted this statement later. So, we might have the Indian GP back on the calendar in 2015.
OD: What about other international events?
JP: The new commissions have only just taken over, so we are still finalising our calendars and hopefully that will be done by the end of March. Once the national events are taken care of we will look at the rest. As of now the Asia Cup was supposed to be held in Chikmagalur in April, but with the elections in the country it wonâ€™t be possible for us to host it at that time. So finally they have decided to allow us to host the Asia Cup in 2015.