Greater Noida: Motor sports enthusiasts wanting to learn the art of speed with the elegance of making a sharp turn now need not pursue their dreams on an electronic game but feel the thrill of rubber grinding against the race tarmac at India`s first Formula One (F1) race track in the Greater Noida suburb of the national capital.
The same track where your favourite speedsters will compete to pop the champagne at the end of October will be used as a driving academy, thanks to Jaypee Sports International Ltd (JPSI) which has developed what is officially called the Buddh International Circuit.
"This facility will house a race-car driving academy which will be used to impart training to budding drivers and enthusiasts," JPSI managing director Sameer Gaur told IANS.
According to the company which is a part of the Jaypee Group, the race-car driving school will be a key revenue and interest source for the track after the end of the inaugural F1 race Oct 28-30.
"We want people to use it for purposes like the driving academy to not only learn the finesse of race-car driving but also to encourage young people to join the motor sports arena," Gaur said.
The race car academy will be set up in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, and would be the only fourth such facility by the German luxury automobile manufacturer after the ones in the US, Germany and China.
"We want to start the academy in January next. By this November, we will be ready with the details on the project," said Mercedes-Benz India managing director and chief executive Peter Honegg.
He said the academy will have two offerings to begin with -- the "emotional" and the "basic" programmes -- starting with how to drive a sports car and then on to imparting more skills after which successful drivers will get a certificate.
Other auto-giants such as Mahindra & Mahindra too have plans to use the track for sports activities.
"We have partnered with Jaypee to use the track for two days a year for the next five years. We will utilise the track for sports purposes where our customers and motor sports enthusiasts can come and show their driving skills," a Mahindra official told IANS.
Automobile experts feel the facility would provide an impetus to budding motor sports players and also help car companies to position themselves vis-a-vis the sport.
"Earlier there was an infrastructure deficit. There was no such facility. Now the automobile companies will position themselves by showcasing their state-of-the-art products that can be used on the track," said Abdul Majeed, auto practice leader with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
The 5.14-km circuit has been designed by German architect and racetrack expert Hermann Tilke, who was also associated with similar projects in Malaysia, Bahrain, Indonesia, China, Turkey, the UAE, South Africa, South Korea and the US.