Multiple race winner and prominent rally driver Karamjit Singh on Monday said that India has many capable rally drivers as well as F-1 drivers. Vijay Mallya has no capacity to say that the country lacks really capable drivers. He said that instead of commenting on quality of the drivers, efforts should be done to train them for the international competition.
Karamjit Singh, who is known as the Flying Singh of Malaysia and who has known many rallies, was asked on the comment made by UB group chairman and owner of the Force India F-1 team. He was in Pune to participate in the city-based rally team Slideways. He is to drive the team’s INRC car during the Rally of Maharashtra scheduled to be held from June 7 to 9 in Nashik. The team include other drivers namely Sirish Chandran and Byram Godrej (1600cc class), RohanPawar and Aniruddha Rangnekar (Junior INRC). Volkswagen India and JK Tyres are the partners of the team.
Mallya has made the statement two years ago, saying that, he was sorry that the current Indian drivers were racing for teams that were clearly not capable of competing at the biggest stage of motorsports. When Singh’s attention was drawn to the statement made by Mallya, he said he was not aware of that. When he was told that he really made the statement, Singh said, “it is really surprising because Mallya has no capacity (standing) to say so.”
Singh, who last participated in the rally held in Pune and subsequently won it, said that a lot of has changed in India. “Earlier, the teams used to participate with Gypsies and Maruti vehicles. Now, they are equipped with specialized vehicles and have technical know how. Therefore, they are as competitive as anybody else,”he said.
Singh also said that in European and other countries, F-1 and rally drivers are trained since childhood. “Starting at about 8-9 years, they become good drivers within ten years. This has to be emulated in India,” he said.