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  • Writer's picturePrerna Dadu

Buddh International Circuit: Elevating India's Motorsport Legacy

Introduction

Motorsport aficionados and sports enthusiasts alike are bracing themselves for a momentous

milestone in India's sporting history—the eagerly awaited MotoGP Bharat event slated for September 22nd to 24th, 2023 in the heart of Greater Noida. The stage is set, and all eyes are on the iconic Buddh International Circuit, a venue that not only boasts a storied legacy but also holds the promise of rekindling the nation's fervour for motorsport.


A Glimpse into the Past: The Roaring Genesis of Buddh International Circuit


Formula 1 has raced in 34 countries as of 2023, featuring iconic circuits worldwide, including India. The sport debuted in India at the Buddh International Circuit in 2011 under a five-year contract, but the association ended after only threeraces.


Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull dominated the Indian Grand Prix, winning all races from

2011 to 2013. Despite earlier plans in 1997, F1's entry to India faced challenges due to the sport's limited popularity and the scarcity of permanent tracks.


The emergence of the Buddh International Circuit, nestled in the vibrant tapestry of Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, was a resounding declaration of India's entry onto the international motorsport stage. Back in 2011, this masterpiece was meticulously crafted under the watchful eye of renowned racetrack architect Hermann Tilke. With its sinuous layout, sweeping high-speed straights, and intricate technical sections, the circuit was purposefully designed to meet the exacting standards of global motorsport. In doing so, it aimed to thrust India into the spotlight, placing it firmly on the world racing map while stoking the flames of a nation's passion for speed.


Formula 1: A Chapter of Promise and Reflection


The story of the Buddh International Circuit took an unexpected turn. Although the circuit reverberated with the thunderous engines of Formula 1 cars between 2011 and 2013, the venture's long-term success proved elusive. Amid logistical intricacies, fluctuating interest, and financial constraints, the Formula 1 races struggled to maintain momentum. Their absence from subsequent race calendars led to poignant questions about the circuit's destiny and its potential to redefine India's motorsport landscape.


However, the rise of motorsports enthusiasm and the arrival of Formula E in Hyderabad in 2023 hint at a potential return of Formula 1 to the circuit, reflecting changing dynamics in the country's sporting landscape.





A Radiant Dawn: UP Government Embraces MotoGP Bharat


In a dazzling display of revitalization, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has breathed new life into the Buddh International Circuit by securing the rights to host MotoGP Bharat in 2023. This revelation has not only rekindled the spirits of motorsport enthusiasts but also underscored UP's unwavering commitment to harnessing sports as a catalyst for both economic prosperity and tourism. The impending spectacle promises to gather 116 riders astride superbikes, hailing from 45 elite teams across 20 countries, hurtling down the asphalt at an awe-inspiring velocity of 360 km/h.


Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated the ticket booking service for the event and emphasized the need for seamless organization. The agency Dorna Sports, which holds the commercial and television rights of MotoGP, will conduct track inspections before implementing the required changes and repairs for the race.


The choice to embrace MotoGP Bharat reflects a strategic pivot, aligning with the surging global popularity of motorcycle racing. Beyond showcasing the prowess of young Indian riders, the event is poised to solidify UP's international standing. The gathering is expected to attract a variety of riders, manufacturers, and fans from across the globe. Anticipated to generate a staggering revenue of Rs. 954 crores (approximately £92.2 million), the event will beckon over a lakh spectators to witness the spectacle live from the circuit, offering employment opportunities to 4932 individuals.


Moreover, the event will be live streamed over 195 countries, drawing over estimated 450

million pairs of eyes. Notably, over 30,000 tickets have already been sold, and the event's organization is in line with the standards of other state events that promote and encourage sports. The design changes and preparations for the event are being undertaken in consultation with organizations such as the Central Road Research Institute and IIT-Roorkee.


Given the technical requirements for hosting tier one races by international bodies like FIA and FIM, the Buddh International Circuit has been adapted for both car and motorcycle races. While only a few circuits in the world can accommodate both car and motorcycle races, the modifications to the Buddh International Circuit are aimed at meeting these rigorous standards.


To host the MotoGP, adapting the existing circuit was a more cost-effective approach compared to building an entirely new track. The modifications include safety barriers, kerb adjustments, and fencing repositioning to ensure the safety of riders during high-speed MotoGP races. The collaboration with FIM and FIA has been crucial in getting the circuit homologated for the event.


Transcending the Finish Line: Pioneering Eco-Conscious Impact

Amidst the roaring engines and fierce competition, MotoGP Bharat is a clarion call for ecological responsibility. The UP-government’s commitment to sustainability is exemplified by the event's ecological considerations.


A standout facet is the emphasis on ethanol production—a green biofuel derived from renewable sources. As the leading ethanol-producing state, Uttar Pradesh's increased demand for this eco-conscious fuel might foster investments in ethanol production, yielding job opportunities, energy resilience, and

sustainable progress.


This forward-thinking approach aligns seamlessly with global endeavours to reduce carbon footprints and combat climate change. With the transportation sector being a significant carbon contributor, MotoGP Bharat's embrace of ethanol serves as a beacon of environmentally conscious practices.


As the countdown to the spectacular MotoGP Bharat gains momentum, it's increasingly evident that this event signifies the revival of India's motorsport legacy. Beyond the racetrack, it's poised to fuel economic growth, unfurl unprecedented opportunities and etch an eco-friendly legacy. This celebration of sports transcends mere competition—it's a testament to the boundless power of unity, passion, and transformation, both within and beyond the circuit's boundaries.


In the midst of anticipation, the promise of MotoGP Bharat at the Buddh International Circuit shines brighter than ever, ready to usher in a new era of speed, passion, and lasting change.

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