Every sport has its heroes. But motor sports has its hero not so much in its participants as in Shrikant Karani, the founder of Sportscraft, which has organized events from the credible to the incredible. Till date, his motor sports organization has conducted as many as 350 events. Supported by a loyal and selfless team, every event has been conducted with clockwork precision earning the praise and accolades of competitors and sponsors alike. Little wonder then that Sportscraft has never backed sponsors for its events including big names like Veedol, Gulf Oil Castrol and Mahindras. Most of the events are conceptualized and organized by Karani himself.
I have , as a Journalist, attended and covered many events organized by Sportscraft and the imposing presence of Karani has seen each event with successful executes precision from start to finish. Moreover , Karani has not restricted himself to organizing events only in the big cities, but taken the sport to even the distant corners of the country.
Go-Karting was first held way back in 1988 and Karani has not looked back since. Recently , the event has been held in Goa annually. The off -beat drive, a day out for participants and their families, has been sponsored by Mahindra for many years. It is a non-competitive event, involving a mixed skillful driving and fun for the entire family. Usually held in Goa along routes that bring the best in driving skills in the participants. Alluded to the Great Escape, the event, true to its name, promises families an escape from the humdrum of daily life to a few hours of fun and frolic among families. And then there is the Blind Men’s Car Rally, which as its name suggests is for the blind , making them feel as important and capable as the sighted or even more so.
In the same vein, the physically disabled also get their share of the cake with an event organized for them, making them also feel important an testing their driving capabilities to the full. Then there are the more conventional and traditional events, like Scooter rally, happening for the last 27 years, The Auto cross and the Motor Cross not to forget the national Rally for two and four wheelers which draws the cream of Indian drivers.
Out- of -this world events have also seen rickshaw, tractors , trucks even rigs on the tracks , which makes Karani and Sportscraft stand out from the Mundane Motor Sports Organization. My first brush with Karani was when I covered an event held for Orphans. With a whooping 28 years in the business, Sportscraft has been bringing smiles to the traditionalists and surprising those who just want to get behind the wheel to exhibit their skills. Events have been organized from Jaipur to Kolhapur, from the big cities of Mumbai to the Mofussil areas of many states.
In addition to being an excellent organizer, Karani has also been involved with the governance of the sport, both nationally and internationally , holding several important posts hereby bringing glory to the sport globally as well. An Organizer like Shrikant, is bound to be awarded and honoured many times over, which he has. Giving his untiring zeal and energy for the sport, it is but natural that Karani has several more years to offer to the sport, which is growing in popularity in India.