The recently held Frozen Rush 2, a motor sports snow race event at Gulmarg has been controversial, as some participants have blamed the organisers for un-professional and biased judgement through the event.
In a press statement issued by some participants, from a break-away group of Kashmir off-roaders, they said, “a sport is always played at equal standards and with fair judgement. We always have the cases in the field of sports where we tend to be emotional and lose our calm & composure; which does not allow us to cheat & rig in the name of passion. Recently we were evident to such an event ‘Frozen Rush 2’ at Gulmarg which was organised by Kashmir Off-road in association with JK Tourism, where decisions were made on basis of patronage.”
The statement added, “the conflict of interest lies with the fact that how come organisers were marshals (referees) as well as the participants also. In what sport on earth does this happen, when according to the motorsports rules of FMSCI, ‘any autocross events shall have marshals designated and approved by the governing body’ which is the FMSCI.”
The judgement during the event, according to the group, was so vague that even the marshals had to look at the Chief Organiser for a nod whether a penalty counted or not.
One of the drivers, according to the participants’ allegation, Dr Taufeeq, who was fast enough to beat other participants timing, was purposely brought down to number two, in order to let a favoured driver win the spot, even though the driver was penalised twice, but was written off.
Another participant who was present at the event, however, had a different take. He told Free Press Kashmir, “It was a huge event and some managements issues where there, but it was in no way a biased event. Only some people had issues, and that happens in all major events of such scale. It was a very positive environment, and everyone enjoyed the runs.”
The track in itself, according to the group, was a disappointment for the snow racers who had paid their entry fee for participating on snow tracks and got their vehicles accordingly, which are suited to run on snow, but they were made to run on on black ice formed on tarmac which risked the lives of drivers participating in it. Participants who questioned the condition of snow and track were politely told to “either leave it or take it” and no refunds were offered.
The group alleged that there was no categorization of cars, keeping in view the nature of the track which was not pure snow as advertised by the organisers while taking entries.
The event was supposed to be a promotion of JK Tourism which right now needs more attention than ever.
The organisers were arrogant and rude with the local people of Gulmarg who are an important part of JK Tourism; banters and cussing will surely not help the morale of such hardworking people.
To sum it up, it was a win win position for the organiser in monetary terms and a big lose lose for the promotion of motor-sport & tourism in the valley.
Omar Bazaz is an adventure enthusiast. He can be found on off-road tracks during the summers, and riding the mountains on a pair of skies in the winters. Omar Bazaz is part of the Moto Explorers Club which is a break-away group of Kashmir off-roaders.