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With Less Than 24 Hours To Go For Formula E Race, Organisers Leave Work For 11th Hour

The track itself, which has been praised by the drivers, is fully ready, but the pending work around the circuit raises concerns. The podium, where the top three drivers will celebrate with a bubbly on Saturday evening, is far from complete.

India is hosting an FIA World Championship event after 10 years.
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With less than 24 hours to go for opening practice session of the inaugural Formula E race in India, the organisers are racing against time to get the Hyderabad Street Circuit ready. (More Motorsport News)

The 2.83km track has been set up around the Hussain Sagar Lake, NTR Gardens, NTR Park and Prasads' Imax, which is  a family complex containing a multiplex, food court and shopping area.

The track itself, which has been praised by the drivers, is fully ready, but the pending work around the circuit raises concerns. Barring the permanent garages built for long term use, most of the infrastructure is temporary. 

The podium, where the top three drivers will celebrate with a bubbly on Saturday evening, is far from complete. It is being readied close to the famous Indira Gandhi Statue. The teams have parked their equipment in the garages, but work in the hospitality section above that is still underway.

"Though the practice is tomorrow, the race and qualifying is day after. Everything will be in place by then. There is no need to worry," an official at the track told PTI

Teething issues are expected in a new project and organisers Greenko and Telangana government have been working overtime to complete the job. 

With India hosting a FIA World Championship status event after 10 years and FIA president Mohammed Bin Sulayem expected to attend the race on Saturday, the motorsport fraternity is tracking the event closely.
    
MOVIE THEATRE TO BE HUB OF ALL MEDIA  ACTIVITY

The fully-electric racing series promotes sustainability and use of battery-powered vehicles on normal roads. For the same purpose, it races mostly on public roads around the world. 

Like the inaugural Formula E race in Jakarta last year, a complex housing movie screens, dining and shopping area, has been converted into a state of the art media centre. 

It also houses the offices of race promoters, Formula E, FIA and Indian governing body FMSCI. The buzzing facility was taken over by the organisers earlier this week.
    
LESSONS LEARNT FROM FORMULA 1

The cars, which were flown to Hyderabad in two jumbo jets following the Saudi Arabia round earlier this month, got a single window custom clearance and were transported to a 40000 square feet storage area close to the track. 

The state government's involvement in the race makes the massive logistical challenge much easier and race CEO Dilbagh Gill, who was team boss at Mahindra Racing for eight seasons, added that they got special clearance for cars from the Government of India. 

"The custom clearance for cars is only done by select airports in India and Hyderabad is not one of them, but we were able to get special clearance from the Director General of Foreign Trade and the entire exercise was over in less than 20 hours," Gill, who played an instrumental role in getting Formula E to India, told PTI. 

The government involvement, both at state and centre level, is critical to the long-term success of the event. Formula 1 had to deal with a variety of logistical and bureaucratic hurdles to race in India.

"I remember at that time, getting all the clearances was very complicated and took a lot of time. For long-term success of any major racing event, government support is essential. It has made all the difference as we gear up to host Formula E," Vicky Chandhok, who was heading FMSCI when Formula 1 was staged in India from 2011-2013, said.

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