|Photo: Ashley Enright|
The Indian WSBK round at the Buddh Circuit, outside of New Delhi, due to go ahead on the 10th of March has come under serious threat due to the country’s custom regulations.
The regs state that all the racing equipment must be in the country 15 days before the round takes place, which happens to be February 24th, the date the WSB is racing at Phillip Island for round 1 of the 2013 season… you can see the issue.
Not to mention, the Custom Bonds law which requires a deposit covering the cost of all the equipment bar the bikes themselves. The law states that said cash (believed to be in the millions to cover all WSBK/WSS teams) may be kept by the government for up to 6 months – an extortionate amount of money for teams. As other news websites have suggested, perhaps Dorna will be required to cover said cost, if they still wish for the round to go ahead. If not Dorna, then the circuit promoters themselves could pay out. A meeting will be held shortly to discuss the sticky situation.
Given that the contract for the championship to race in India was signed months ago, one wonders why this problem was not realised sooner…
The biking market in India is the largest in the world, and ever increasing. Yet an apparent problem is that not enough of the population are keen followers of motorcycle racing. The Mahindra Racing team, that has been racing in the 125/Moto3 World Championship for the past few years, as well as in CIV was supposed to help increase support from the country. However, after a disastrous couple of seasons with limited success, they haven’t exactly made headline news in the country.
World Championship motorcycling is still in a sponsorship crisis. WSB has taken the leap to try and break into the Indian market, provided that the round is a success, new doors to sponsorship opportunities could open up. They just have to get everything past customs first…