Irungattukottai Race Track
Map of the track
|Location||Irungattukottai, Sriperumbudur, Chennai, India|
|Length||3.717 km (2.310 mi)|
|Short (Club) Circuit|
|Length||2.067 km (1.280 mi)|
The Irungattukottai Race Track is a permanent motor racing circuit located in Irungattukottai, Sriperumbudur, Chennai, India. Officially known as Madras Motor Race Track(MMRT), it was built in the late 1980s and was inaugurated in 1990. It is the first of its kind in India and is owned and operated by the Madras Motor Sports Club. Irungattukottai track is where the motor sport in India grew from, and Irungattukottai has been central to Indian motor racing. India's first-ever FIA recognised race track, the MMRT was first used for racing in 1990 and has been the main breeding ground for the country's top drivers including India's only two Formula 1 drivers Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok.
Chennai had widely regarded as the cradle of Indian motorsport and had remained the prime venue for motorsport in India ever since the beginning of the sport in the country. The influence had extended throughout the southern India, with the Madras Motor Sports Club, Coimbatore Auto Sports Club and Karnataka Motor Sports Club being among the primary clubs organizing motorsports events in the country. In 1971, these clubs, along with Calcutta Motor Sports Club and Mumbai's Indian Automotive Racing Club, united to form the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), headquartered in Chennai, to ensure common regulations and orderly conduct of events.
Race meets were held on abandoned airstrips, such as the ones at Sholavaram in Chennai, Sulur airstrip in Coimbatore, and Agram in Bangalore. The Sholavaram airstrip in Chennai is regarded as the original Mecca of motor racing. During race weekends, Sholavaram was invariably packed with spectators and the government had organized special bus services to the venue during such times. In 1990, when the Irungattukottai track was built, it became the prime motor sport venue in the country.
The Full Circuit (main track) is 3.717 kilometres (2.310 mi) long. It has 12 turns and 3 straights, with the longest one being 250 m. The Club Circuit is 2.067 kilometres (1.284 mi) long and has 7 turns. Both tracks are 11 m wide with 12 m at the start line and operate in a clockwise direction. Irungattukottai Race Track is a Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile and Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme-certified circuit.
The first race was held in 1990 and the tracks were fully resurfaced in 2007. Vehicles allowed for races include bikes of all categories and cars up to F3.
The circuit underwent renovation in phases over the past three years in a bid to upgrade it with work on increasing the run-off areas, kerbs, Armco barriers, and fully advanced race control room besides efforts to provide more safety for competitors.Plans are afoot to revamp the infrastructure at the circuit with a brand-new pit building housing the pit garages with hospitality area and media centre.
FIA Grade 2 mark
The international automobile federation (FIA) has granted the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) a Grade 2 license after the circuit, located on the outskirts of the city, underwent massive renovation over the past couple of years.The Grade 2 license will enable the MMRT to host races such as Indycar, World Endurance Championship, DTM and GT Racing, according to a press release from the Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC) Friday.
- "Madras Motor Sports Club". mmsc.in. n.d. Retrieved 2009-02-02.[dead link]
- Rajan, Sanjay (18 October 2013). "Formula One—Up from the South". Live Mint (livemint.com). Retrieved 27 Oct 2013.
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