Spat over use of Jakkur runway mars 2-day drag race

Spat over use of Jakkur runway mars 2-day drag race

The running spat between the organisers of the drag race competition and the Agni Aero Sport Academy continued even as the two-day event concluded at the Jakkur Aerodrome.

About 350 participants across the country and outside vied for the drag race cup in four categories - cars and bikes' races in Indian and foreign sections - as one of the aerodrome's tenants Captain Arvind Sharma complained that he had to turn back students coming for flying lessons.

Captain Sharma accused the organisers of violating the Karnataka High Court's interim order that allowed the race with the caveat that the petitioner (Sharma) and the organisers should agree to safeguard each other's interests.

"The court had directed the additional chief secretary to convene a meeting in his office to bring a mutual agreement between both the parties," the flying instructor said.  

"But that meeting did not take place. Without any (mutual) agreement, they started the race on Saturday, forcing us to send back about 25 flyers on Saturday and about 30 on Sunday," he added.

Tariq Mohsin, one of the three organisers of the drag race, refuted Captain Sharma's allegations. "We waited for him to turn up at the time he gave for the meeting. Since he did not turn up, we went ahead with the race as scheduled," he said.

However, the spat did not dampen the excitement on the runway, which served as the racetrack. "It's exciting as always," said Nadeem Shah, who finished third in the M9 and M10 races.

'We look forward to events like this to further nurture our hobby. I hope to continue the first three finishes as in the previous races," he said, as he prepared for the fastest wheelie riding.Elsewhere, motor sport enthusiasts checked out stalls for the latest bikes and cars displayed by leading automobile manufacturers.

Many also thronged the venue with palpable excitement to greet Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty, unmindful of the stifling conditions.

The number of racers was less compared to round one in Aamby Valley, which saw 600 men on the wheels. "But it was a three-day event, while here in Bengaluru, it's reduced by a day," said Amit Kumar Modi, managing director, Indian Speed Week, who organised the event.

'Disciplined' sport  

Asked if the event would encourage youngsters to drag race in heavily crowded highways -  the cause of some ghastly accidents and fatalities in recent times - Modi said events such as ISW can help people understand that drag racing has its own discipline.

"Drag racing is part of a whole range of motor sport," he said. "People drag race in roads because they don't get a platform. There should be a dedicated space for
such specialised sporting events."

Meanwhile, Captain Sharma said he would request the court not to direct the government to include him in any future decision making to allow activities in the aerodrome.

"A tenant can't be forced to halt his activities to make way for other (events). I will take this matter to court," he
said.

While allowing organisers to go ahead with the racing, the high court  had directed, in the interim order, to list a petition against letting non-aviation events at the Jakkur Aerodrome.

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