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Racing, off course

india Updated: Feb 09, 2011 14:25 IST
Nikhil Hemrajani

Ten years ago, you’d probably find Viral Oza, given to car racing in video games like Need For Speed and Gran Turismo. Known amongst his peers as ‘Vyper’, Oza knew all the flourishes of racing such as drifting and slaloming. You could say the enthusiasm ste-mmed from his father Ashok Oza, a rally driver himself.

It’s no surprise then that the Oza family and professional rally driver Pradeep Nair have teamed up for Automission Motorsport, an advanced driving and professional rallying school. The company has tied up with UK-based Bill Gwynne Motor-sport to make this possible.

If you make a pit stop at Khalapur, approximately 70km from Mumbai on the old Mumbai-Pune highway, you’ll get an idea what AutoMission is up to. There are multiple tracks including a three-km long dirt track comprising of dips, jumps and high-speed
corners on a 26-acre plot.

“According to a Inter-national Road Federation report in 2009, India has the maximum amount of road deaths. People still learn while driving in Maruti 800s and most motor schools don’t have the license to teach,” says Oza. He informs that his company’s plan is to help people learn proper car control from professional rally drivers. He adds, “All car physics get exaggerated on a dirt track and react at 35kmh, how cars on asphalt roads react at 70kmh. So you learn to control the car at much slower speeds.”

Once fully operational by March, AutoMission will offer a range of professional driving including Motor-cross, rallying and karting on multiple circuits appro-ved by Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India.

“We’re already in talks with the Mumbai Police for training their driving squad. Certain automobile manufacturers have also shown interest in using our track for test-driving,” says Oza.

One-day driving courses
start at Rs 8000 - Rs 10,000. Professional rally courses start from R 20,000.
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