"Chairman and Managing Director, The Raymond Ltd., founder of the Super Car Club of India, Passionate about cars, planes and yachts ": This is how Gautam Singhania's official twitter handle introduces him. And it justifies his selection to represent India in Federation Internationale de l'Automobile's (FIA), the global governing body for major auto racing events. He replaces businessman and politician Vijay Mallya.
The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) elected industrialist and auto enthusiast Gautam Singhania as representative in the FIA World Motor Sports Council (WMSC). The chairman and MD of the Raymond Group, world's largest producer of worsted suiting fabric, is replacing fugitive Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
Mallya was asked by the FMSCI to step down on the sports ministry's directive in July and the post was lying vacant since July 2017. The Bombay Dyeing owner in a tweet confirmed that he has been "elected to the post seven votes for and just one vote against."
Apart from his fabric business, Singhania is also an acclaimed supercar collector and a professional racer. He had participated in Ferrari Championship Series 2015 and is also the owner of Raymond track in Thane specialised in drifting. He has driven a Formula 1 car in France, a Ferrari 360 Modena in a road and track rally in the Europe and a Lamborghini Gallardo in Europe's Cannonball Run. He is also the mastermind behind forming the first-ever supercar club in India. However, Singhania does not have any administrative experience in Indian motorsport.
FMSCI President Akbar Ebrahim has been nominated for the deputy post along with Singhania. Both Singhania and Ebrahim now head to elections for positions in WMSC which is scheduled to be held in Paris in December 2017, reports TeamBHP.
Beleaguered liquor baron, Mallya was India's face in FIA for a long time. Team principal of the Sahara Force India team competing in Formula One, Mallya has been embroiled in legal controversies that include defrauding banks and defaulting on loan payments in India. After his exit, former FMSCI president Vicky Chandhok was deputed for the job till now.
Happy to be elected by the Federation of motorsport clubs of india as their rep to the world body of Federation international automobile.— Gautam Singhania (@SinghaniaGautam) October 15, 2017
Happy to say that won the FMSCI with 7 votes for / 1 vote against - thanks for the unanimous support. Will do my best for indian motorsport— Gautam Singhania (@SinghaniaGautam) October 15, 2017