Former F1 racer Karun Chandhok on designing Pune’s Nanoli racetrack


The 2.92-kilometre Nanoli observe, he says, will likely be India’s fourth main racing venue

Even throughout a raging pandemic, former Formula One (F1) racer Karun Chandhok travels often. His tv commentary work for F1 requires him to take action. Week after week, the Chennai-based sportsperson strikes from one bio-bubble to the opposite. “I am somewhat of an expert in COVID-19 tests by now,” he jokes about present process 29 checks.

Apart from speaking motorsport on tv and writing about it, Karun can also be concerned in designing new racetracks and modifying outdated ones. Last 12 months, he helped Driven International, a UK-based motorsport venue architect firm, to design the Nanoli Speedway observe in Pune. He additionally helped the agency in modifying the design of Coimbatore’s Kari Motor Speedway, which is being upgraded.

The 2.92-kilometre Nanoli observe, he says, will likely be India’s fourth main racing venue after Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai, Kari Motor Speedway, Coimbatore and the Buddh International Circuit, Noida. The location, Karun says, is right for racing fans, supercar homeowners and vehicle firms from each cities.

“There are a lot of supercar owners and racers in Mumbai, who don’t have the space to drive. It is difficult and sometimes dangerous to drive those cars within the city. To drive fast, they have to take it to the racing tracks in Chennai or the tracks in the North. But once the Nanoli track launches, it will just be a 90-minute drive for them,” he explains.

“Also, one more track is good for Indian racing,” provides Karun, “It helps develop a racing culture in a region. For instance, Narain [Karthikeyan] and I got into racing because our fathers used to race. So, a track can create a racing hub. But we also need more go-karting tracks in the country.”

The Nanoli observe design, accepted by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), options two lengthy straights and 12 turns. It can host races as much as Formula 3 degree. “We visited the site last year and came up with a few design options. I ran these options on my simulator last year and came up with the final design,” says Karun.

The observe will even function a pit constructing, paddock, storage, museum and different facilities like a golf course, tennis court docket, and an equestrian course amongst others. “It was supposed to be ready this year. COVID delayed the work. So, hopefully, it should be ready next year,” says Karun.



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