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Old 11th May 2009, 14:26   #1
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Exclamation A rally driver's views on the Indian motorsport setup

Hi,

I had an email conversation with a Rally driver friend of mine. discussing the Indian motorsports scene. Your comments welcome!

PS: This may offend a lot of people! This is personal opinion - so take it for what its worth!

Quote:
Adi, I know why you're asking ..... so here
goes, rally tuning 101. The rest of you, feel free to Shift+Delete

[ Chip Tuning bangalore india ECU Reflashing / Remapping Bangalore FRK Racing - Performance Upgrades for engines, transmissions, suspensions/steering ]

FRK Racing is run by Fazil Khan who is 55+ and has many, many racing
titles under his belt. He is the Sun Motors front,
which also restores classics - VW Bus, Mini Cooper, Cadillac, Skyline,
to name a few. Sister concern FRK Performance is run by Krishna Jeet
Cola (sic), who used to drive for Fazil once (and used to work for Dell
before that).

FRK Racing is the body shop and tuning center, FRK Performance imports
parts and sells them. Race Dynamics adds ECU remapping know-how to
Fazil's already impressive credentials as a performance tuner -
newspaper reports indicate about 8,000 cars on the streets of Bangalore
are tuned by FRK. Most of these are spoiler, body kit, exhaust, header
and suspension modifications, some are E-Zens and B-Zens (Zen with
Esteem and Baleno engines, respectively) and a fair number of
turbocharger retrofitements (Baleno, Honda City, Zen), with or without
NOS(tm). Besides these, his customers include owners of rarities like
the 350Z and Supra, and also the legendary Jagat and Anita Nanjappa.
Fazil himself owns a Mitsubishi 3000GT import, amongst others. FRK also
manufactures and sells their own seats, rollcages, suspensions, under
body protection and such. Everything else is bought off the shelf
(Sparco, Recaro, Sabelt, Auto-Meter, OMP).

Besides FRK, the other major [rally] tuner in Bangalore is Ranjith
Ballal's RAC (Ranjith Auto Care). Slipstream [ http://slipstream.in ]
owned by 2 ex-Wipro employees doesn't seem to be doing too well. The
others are Kari and Chettinad, both in Coimbatore, yet popular with
Bangalore drivers due to their rallying heritage going back a long way.
Leela Krishnan used to privateer, then run MRF's rally team, before
part-founding Red Rooster Racing, based in Bangalore [
Beta Version ]. He also runs LAH in Coimbatore,
Leela Auto House, which is the south's mecca for imported cars and
parts. MRF's team is now run by J. Anand (who was , whose claims to fame
include his own rally suspension rivaling international products, and
the Indica Silhouette [ J. Anand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ]. IIRC, J.
Anand briefly also worked with the erstwhile JK Tyre rallying team,
which was the only other major rally team for a long time. Finally,
Ideal Racing in Bangalore has an reputation of building unreliable rally
cars for drivers who tend to delay payments.

For this season, FRK is running 6-7 rally cars (all Esteems) and 2
gypsies. In the track races at Sriperumbadur and Kari Motor Speedway,
they're running approx 3-4 of the same Esteems, and in the Saloon class,
several City's, Balenos, Zens and Esteems. Statistically, that places
them somewhere at the mid-upper-range (Kari/Chettinad being the biggest
players, and RAC/Ideal being the smallest). They currently hold the
record for the fastest time at Kari (KJ Cola in turbo City), and the
title for the Nandi Hills Climb (in a turbo Zen - I think). They are
also familiar faces at all the Speed Runs and [ill]legal drag races, and
the first to tune Diesels for racing (Skoda, Verna).

Fazil is well-known in the racing/rallying circuit, and is frequently
called upon as a judge/organizer/technical advisor. I've also seen a
buggy that they manufactured exclusively for drag races. Also known for
his no-nonsense focus on performance, as opposed to the more glamorous
(drunk) side of racing - and that includes Race Dynamics partying at
Leela every weekend.

Interestingly, the racing/rallying culture in Bangalore/Coimbatore took
root in the abandoned WWII landing strip of Sholavaram [
Sholavaram - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ].
More later!

Last edited by Technocrat : 11th May 2009 at 20:52. Reason: SOme objectinable content has been edited out from the quoted text
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Old 11th May 2009, 14:36   #2
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Where is the outburst??

Nice quote, though.
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Old 12th May 2009, 02:03   #3
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These are some very serious statements and allegations, and I'm hesitant to believe any of them, especially about RD.

Who is the rally driver you're quoting?
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Old 12th May 2009, 04:04   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v1p3r View Post
These are some very serious statements and allegations, and I'm hesitant to believe any of them, especially about RD.

Who is the rally driver you're quoting?

Relax, Im sure he has been promised something back for his grateful words for someone...Hhmmmh...they are frustrated and they all come and go every now and then!!!

Yeah, how about letting us know who this 'rally driver' is!!!

Last edited by The Wolf : 12th May 2009 at 04:13.
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Old 12th May 2009, 04:42   #5
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Karthik, Ritesh how about giving us an invite to the weekend parties at Leela ?

On a more serious note, this quote looks like a publicity rant about FRK Racing and nothing else?
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Old 12th May 2009, 05:17   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
Karthik, Ritesh how about giving us an invite to the weekend parties at Leela ?

On a more serious note, this quote looks like a publicity rant about FRK Racing and nothing else?
I dont know her, I only know prameela, gues its her kumbh ke mele mein bichhdi hui judwa behen!!!
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Old 12th May 2009, 09:55   #7
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Cool

Hi, I think its better to let the guy be anonymous because views are are um, too frank to be quoted! As I said, pls take for what its worth but let me assure you its not a publicity stunt on anybody's behalf.

Rest of the mail chain....

Quote:
So what I see is that India does have a professional motorsports setup in place.

Lets see what we have:

- a couple of racing tracks
- indian formula cars
- a *established* rally circuit
- professional racing teams
- tuning dukaans
- easier import norms
- a few drivers who have graduated to the international arena including Formula Asia, A1, Telefonica and even F1 (eeks)
So what is missing?

- TV and mega sponsors?
- Go karting circuit?
- professional driving schools

- Aditya
Reply:

Quote:
As promised, thoughts:

> does have a professional motorsports setup in place
You wish. Quite the opposite, we have one of the most unprofessional and politicized setup anywhere in the world, driven by selfish motives and greed. Look up the forums for the ugly dispute between MAI and FMSCI about whoíll be empowered by the FIA for running 4W motorsports in India. Nazir Hoosein and Vicky Chandok/Vijay Mallaya have been at loggerheads for ages, resulting in both MRF and JK Tyre rally teams pulling out, effectively killing the sport. Now when MRF comes, JK doesnít, and vice-versa.

6-time champion national Naren Kumar was heavily penalized by MRF for leaving to pursue his APRC/WRC career, which should in fact have been a natural progression for him at MRF.

Event run only where the organizers stand to make money, then too there are inter-state and inter-club rivalries, with a lot of boycotting and tit-for-tat involved. Last year and this year, the entire rally calendar has been in jeopardy, with events not being confirmed even a week from the planned date.

In Coimbatore last year, it was alleged that the local teams were practicing for days on the track before teams from other states arrived, and were even doing trials at night, during the rally, when the stages were closed.

In 2005, lives were lost when the organizers of Raid-de-Himalaya refused to cancel a stage at dusk time. A lot of uncompetitive things happen. Cars and karts are sabotaged (thatís how Karun Chandok made it that far). But then I guess the same happens in F1, too Ė McLaren starts getting fined be FIA each time Ferrari starts losing.

- a couple of racing tracks
Which has been the case for ages, by now we should have had a few more, at least one up north

- a few drivers who have graduated to the international arena
Including APRC (Asia Pacific) and WRC

- Go karting circuit?
In fact, Go Karting is probably the most well-established of Indian motorsports. They have been consistently having the same national and regional championships every year, and drivers have consistently been graduating to higher platforms

- professional driving schools
We have those, too, although they cost a bomb. Plus a lot of people can afford UK or Australia these days for coaching

- TV and mega sponsors?
Bingo. When was the last time you watched an Indian rally on TV? Or even a circuit race? DD is probably the only one that covers it. The reason is $$$ and the viewership only being in the urban areas.

Today, cars are more affordable than ever in India. People have more money to spend and rich kids have more time on their hands. Then why isnít it catching on?

1. Street racers donít want rollcages and fire extinguishers: in their expensive Accords and Citys, they want leather upholstery and tinted glasses. Most people want to look cool, rather than participate in a sport. Blame it on Star Movies.

2. Itís still expensive: you canít drive a rally car to work, so by definition youíre the owner of atleast 2 cars. So everyone tries to rip you off.

3. Thereís no market for it: weíre a cricket loving country, remember?

4. Itís dangerous and anti-cultural: in a culture that dictates that cars should be worshipped with Lord Ganeshaís idol in them, itís difficult to breed an indifferent mindset that is focused on breaking them. Think about it.

5. Dirty politics: puts a majority of prospective entrants off.

6. Itís time consuming and requires commitment: For example, rallies can actually be reduced to 3 days, instead of the current 6, which is not going to be in the interest of the organizers/sponsors. Most of us earn our own living and canít get away from work. And we donít have social security.

7. Sports, in general, are discouraged in India: we are more focused on turning out doctors and engineers and call centre wallahs.

8. Curiosity kills: the locals find it strange when cars zoom by their fields. They throw stones. They keep rocks on the roads. They redirect routes. They get hurt and demand compensation. They spill onto the stages in hordes and cause stages to be cancelled. Both the APRC and WRC rounds have come to India in the past and vowed not to come back due to such disorganization. Finland uses helicopters for crowd control. Go figure.

9. It takes b@!!$: We Indians in general donít like to take risks. Most of us work hard for a living and have people dependent on us. Unlike Europe, where youíre not married and your parents are in the next town and thereís snow outside so letís go do some handbrake turns. Sociological factors play a huge part Ė why Italy is a country of racers, and Greece is not.

10. Lack of corporate support: For a long time it was only JK vs MRF, and now they both are gone. What about Maruti vs Indica (see [ http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motor-...dy-indica.html ]). Where are Mahindra and Mitsubishi? (BTW they tried Evos in 2004, they were ďoverpowered for Indian roadsĒ) Ford Focus, Suzuki Swift, SX4, all these carsí international rally versions can directly be put to use here. What about the big oil companies, the spares manufacturers, the OEMs this country is simply bursting with? Who knows. Maybe it has something to do with Momta Banorjee and her ilk.
more ....

Quote:
FMSCI was recognized by the FIA just before Chikmaglur rally last year (or was it Cochin?). However, I remember when the results came out, they were on MAI letterheads. It must have been like a paki military coup for the participants (actually MAI exercised a veto in the FIA meeting). A couple of events later, FMSCI was again in power. This year itís expected to be the FMSCI.

MRF and JK have different loyalties because they both lack the spirit of sportsmanship, IMO. The competition had started getting ugly, drivers being poached and things like that. Besides, now they are in different leagues because MRF is actively participating internationally. JK currently backs all 2-wheeler events in India, besides the karting championships. MRF makes sure they have nothing to do with anything that JK is associated with. Also, there is an element if personal rivalry between the top brass.

Last year JK was expected to make a comeback to 4 wheels to take on MRF, but when Red Rooster came in, MRF backed out (because Leela Krishnan and a lot of ex-MRF drivers were now with RR, although the reasons were not clearly stated) and then for some reason JK didnít show up either. Beats me.
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Old 12th May 2009, 10:12   #8
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Oh this thread is back!!
Buddy some facts are wrong, get them straight with your "friend" also does he know his email has been put up here?
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Old 12th May 2009, 10:55   #9
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Gotta admit, most of what he has said about the situation of motorsports in India is true.
I do not want to comment on other issues for obvious reasons.
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Old 12th May 2009, 12:46   #10
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Quote:
Also known for
his no-nonsense focus on performance, as opposed to the more glamorous
(drunk) side of racing - and that includes Race Dynamics partying at
Leela every weekend.
So what he's saying is that a couple of partying drunks from Race Dynamics build a sub 15 sec NA SOHC VTEC and none of the other Einsteins can even come close? LOL

They must be the "Drunken Masters" of motorsport.

Shan2nu
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Old 12th May 2009, 12:51   #11
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So basically someone is free to glorify some people and denigrate others, under the cloak of anonymity. Good stuff.

On second thought, I'll have whatever the RD guys are drinking! Seems to be working!
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Old 12th May 2009, 12:58   #12
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can't really comment on the inside happenings on the Indian rallying. Can only comment from a well read layman's point of view. Yes it's a shame to see the political tussle for controlling motor sport in India.Ultimately powers to be have to realize that nothing is bigger than the sport, a level playing field, development and its drivers. I guess the need for 'power' of the wrong kind is a scourge for the development of any sport in India. Cricket took off only because of a bunch of 11 determined players, luck and their undying spirit in 1983 to rise above everything (i'm sure the BBCi then was the same as it is now in terms of its hunger for power and control) to win the world cup.
Also agree to the broader issues about socio cultural aspects and our country's growth and development post independence.

Last edited by pranava999 : 12th May 2009 at 13:03.
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Old 12th May 2009, 14:05   #13
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Buddy this is more hearsay, cannot accept it till source or confirm proof revealed.
Waste of Time.
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Old 12th May 2009, 16:04   #14
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LOL!!! Drunken Masters!! Nice one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu View Post
So what he's saying is that a couple of partying drunks from Race Dynamics build a sub 15 sec NA SOHC VTEC and none of the other Einsteins can even come close? LOL

They must be the "Drunken Masters" of motorsport.

Shan2nu
I wanna have that drink as well bro!! Maybe in their drunk state, even I get to have a sub 15 sec vtec!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by v1p3r View Post
So basically someone is free to glorify some people and denigrate others, under the cloak of anonymity. Good stuff.

On second thought, I'll have whatever the RD guys are drinking! Seems to be working!
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Old 12th May 2009, 16:47   #15
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Talking Man O Man!!!

Wow! This is a journalist's dream scoop. You got some pics to go along with this story mate? Would love to put this in black and white. And like Rahul said, I also want invites to those parties at Leela- Karthik and Pavan take note. And BTW, Karthik stays 'high' 24x7x365 on a mocktail of orange juice and Red Bull- since he doesn't consume alcoholic beverages.

I would love to dissect the first part of the post and blow it to smithereens since I happen to know most people involved in that rant. I rather not waste my time doing it.

Newspaper reports stating 8000 cars tuned by FRK are running on the street. Since when did newspapers start doing these statistics? I thought they were too busy with "Who will win the next 20-20 match" polls. The only mention street cars get is when they are busted while 'dragging' in newspaper journos' lingo- certainly not one of the most informed individuals about this scene, to say the least. I'm sure even Fazil sir would be surprised to hear that- unless the 'rally' driver 'friend' has counted each oil change as a single tuneup. And turbos with NAAAWWWSSS (TM) lololololol. I don't even want to say anything. What are we building here? 8 second Skylines and Supras with T66 turbos? sheesh. People throw jargons like they're just another word.

There are many other revered tuners all over India, supported by RD products and services- don't think many tuners, racing teams and individuals would have trusted them if they were 'getting drunk' given the chance. Its not mere chance that MRF Cedias are powered by RD standalones- that is after having used MoTeCs and Autronics. Another example is Raj Hingorani, even though he isn't a rally tuner- an old gentleman who has constantly being shaming competition at the strip single-handedly.

Phew! I already wasted so much time- if I post anything more, I may seriously lose my job ala Sameel. I'm outta here.

Last edited by doomsday : 12th May 2009 at 17:04.
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