Did you, as a kid also fantasize, like many kids do, about driving a car? Going at blazing fast speeds without any care in the world. And have you ever wondered how to become a professional race car driver in India? Or have you ever wondered how Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Ayrton Senna became the world champions in formula one?
There are many possible career options in the field of professional racing, which will fulfill your hunger for adventure and thrill. There is off road endurance rally, track racing, special events, formula one, formula two, and much more.
The trouble is that there is not much awareness surrounding this career as it is a bit hazy in India. We only had one formula, one driver, ever Narayan Kartikeyan.
In this post, we are talking about how to become a professional race car driver in India. So let’s get started.
Become a Racecar Driver in India (Track and Rally)
When to Start
To get into any competitive racing you must start at the bottom. This is especially true if you are looking forward to making your career in track racing ( formula one, LeMans, Grand Prix or any regional or international event).
If you are serious about a career in racing then you have to start really early. Formula One legend Michael Schumacher started go-karting professionally at the age of six. Lewis Hamilton also started his training from the tender age of 8.
Track racing requires a lot of technique and skills which takes time to develop. We wouldn’t suggest you start worrying about track racing at the age of 18-19. Rather focus on off-roading, which is relatively is easy to break in.
Earlier, go-karting helps you understand the basics of racing in the track. It helps in the basics like following the line, breaking, acceleration, and many more things. Like we mentioned earlier, these skills will take time to develop. In real-world conditions, even a 10th of a second delay can cost you from winning.
Where to Start
In India there are two very prominent training academies, they have produced many great racers throughout the years.
First in the list is Rayo Racing which is located in Pune. It is founded and managed by Rayomand Banerjee, who is also a national karting champion.
Another great academy is Meco Motorsports which is located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. This training institute is sponsored by JK Tyres and Volkswagen. Meco Motorsports is responsible for many national racing champions in many categories.
Meco also conducts their own racing events across the country. If you are serious about the career in racing in India, you shouldn’t think further than Meco Motorsports.
You can also check FMSCI website for verified and trusted training institutes in India. You can find more information this link
There are other institutes like Team Avalanche Racing, Dark Don Racing. But out of them all, Meco Motorsports is among the leading and best one.
How to Obtain a License
FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India) is the leading authority when it comes to motorsports in India. First and foremost thing is to get the FMSCI license which can be provided to a minor. There are different criteria for the different age group.
If you are between the age of 8 and 15, you will require the signature of your parents in order to obtain a license. For the age group of 15-16 which is a grade c license, you need a regular driver’s license, along with a medical certificate from a doctor and you are good to go.
If you are below 18, then you will need FMSCI member attested affidavit stating that you have required skills for karting and race track driving.
You can learn more about the FMSCI license on this link
How to Start
There are two types of racing, off-roading, and track-racing. For track, you need to start early as we have mentioned the list of all the popular institutes in India.
You can check the official website or contact the racing institutes to know more about the fee structure.
You can Check FMSCI website for the details on Institutes. – Link Here
In India condition of motorsports is different from European Countries (Where motorsports are very famous).
When you graduate from karting the next step to go to Formula LGB ( Developed by Super Speed Coimbatore )
You can learn about Formula LGB here
These cars are powered by Suzuki Swift engines and unlike traditional formula cars, these don’t have wings.
This is an essential step in order to gain some recognition and some experience. Though there are other options drivers have if they don’t want to do the formula LGB season.
Meco Motorsports and Dark Don Racing both conduct workshops for perfecting the Formula LGB.
Other options that you have include Formula BMW (which is currently known as Formula FB02) which is a winged formula car. You can also compete in slicks car racing straight from Karting.
Either way, you have to have prior racing experience in order to compete in the winged or slicks car.
You can also graduate from Formula LGB workshop. You could also do season or two to better your credential.
Formula FB02 and slick cars are the gateways to international events. Remember this is just the start and further you go the harder you have to work and the tougher the competition would be. Once you graduate from Formula FB02 you are entitled to play in the big leagues. It is just a matter of time but in the end, talent always gets ahead.
Apart from Formula Cars
If you aren’t so keen on formula / single seater cars, you can build your career in 4 seater cars. There are events like Indian Junior Touring car championship. It is the part of National Racing championship.
Cars that you will be racing on the track has to be assembled in India. You can learn about the regulations on FMSCI
As a Rallying Driver
Rallying is also very famous around the world. Car companies put their cars to test which also becomes the good marketing campaign to show endurance and reliability.
The path to rally driver is similar to a track-racing. You have to start on a track. Unlike from the early ages in the case of track driving, you can get into rally driving after some skill development.
Indian National Rally Championship is the authoritative body for rallying events in India. Some of the institutes we mentioned above like; Meco motorsports also provides training in rally racing. You also have to invest some money into modifying your own car which may cost somewhere 15-18 Lakhs. It is fair to say that rally racing is an expensive sport.
You have to build your portfolio first, and then you can ask companies to sponsor you. In India companies like MRF, JK Rally Team, Mahindra and now Yokohama are among the big players.
So, there you have it friends, an authoritative guide to making it big in the world of racing. If you have those racing curiosities, then we are sure this post will satisfy all your queries. So, what are you waiting for? Get those driving gloves and start your engines! Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!