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If playing 100 Tests, or winning 100 caps as a footballer, or even participating in 100 races is an achievement, then what can one say about someone organizing 250 sporting events. Wouldn’t ‘fantastic’ sum up the achievement in one word?

On Sunday, 17th September 2006, Sportscraft, pioneers in the organization of motor sport in India, attained an unusual landmark when it staged the Gulf Dirt Track Challenge in Raipur. It was their 250th event and a milestone few in the business can boast or even dream of.

That’s why, in recognition, ‘The Limca Book of Records’ has included Sportscraft in its hallowed pages. Indeed, Sportscraft has come a long way since it staged its 1st event in January 1984, with a Vintage Car Rally in Lonavala.

Mr Shrikant Karani receives the certificate on entering the Limca book of records from Ms Arthy Muthanna Singh, Sr editor, Limca book of records.
Mr Shrikant Karani receives the certificate on entering the Limca book of records from Ms Arthy Muthanna Singh, Sr editor, Limca book of records.
Today it is a full-fledged, flourishing venture solely dedicated to sport. Shrikant Karani’s compassion for motor sport has taken Sportscraft to dizzy heights, which has seen it being voted ‘The Best Organiser’ of motor sport events from 1994 to 1997 by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India. Now the accolades are quite routine.

Says Mr Karani: “when I started in ’84 – visualizing 50 events was out of question. Getting people with proper documentation to participate was also a problem” looking back on those wonder years, when motor sport was virtually unheard of in India.

Certainly, when Mr Karani staged his first event in 1984, he may have never, even in his wildest dreams, thought Sportscraft would be a name to reckon with after 20 years and 250 events and on this occasion, Sportscraft - Mr. Karani acknowledges & thanks all for helping him achieve this milestone.

After just one event in 1984, the company staged five events the following year, including their maiden Motorcross event – the first Bombay Motorcross meet for two-wheelers. By 1986, news about Sportscraft’s organizational skills spread far and wide and sponsors and corporate houses sought their services. The IARC, perhaps the country’s first motor sports body, staged seven events and handed the organiser’s tag to Sportscraft. The rest, as any success story would go, is history.

After organizing Gymkhana races and Vintage car rallies, Sportscraft branched out to more competitive events: autocross and rallies for two-wheelers and cars, rallies for the blind, Go-kart races and Dirt Track racing.

The Andelal Eggathon in 1989, which was conducted in various zones, was a huge success and a major feather in Sportscraft’s cap.

By the end of the millennium, corporate houses were lining in to seek Sportscraft’s expertise. J K Tyres, Tide Water Oil Co. (India) Ltd.,Castrol, Gulf Lubricants, Maruti Udyog Ltd. and Mahindra and Mahindra roped in the company to organize their events.

In 1996, Sportscraft staged a unique event, till then only seen in the movies or in picture books. It was an off-beat drive on the lines of Jeep Jamborees in Australia, Canada and the United States. It was the Great Escape, Mahindra’s off-beat drive along the backwoods of different places. Organising an event like this, which involves over 400 participants and over a hundred utility vehicles, is no mean task. But Sportscraft handled the grueling drive, spread over six hours, with aplomb to win the trust and confidence of Mahindra. So much so that it was entrusted the staging of 28 more Great Escapes all over the country.

The Gulf Dirt Track races, which has seen the country’s best two-wheeler riders and manufacturers participate, is another feather in Sportscraft’s cap. It has already held 25 races, including a National Championship - and there are more in the offing. Thus it was certainly fitting that the 250th event was the Dirt Track races in Raipur.

That the Limca Book of Records has included Sportscraft / Shrikant Karani in its annals is a genuine appreciation to the selfless efforts of Shrikant Karani.

With Mr. Michael Ferreira, four times World billiards champion, who himself is in the Guinness book of World records for his achievement, handed over the certificate of listing by Limca Book of Records for his achievements.

At 54 - Shrikant Karani - can look back with the satisfaction of having given motor sport in India a strong foundation. The Limca Book of Record’s recognition will only increase his drive!
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