Chennai: India will become the first Asian country to host the annual Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Gala Awards function after the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) announced on Wednesday that the ceremony will be held in New Delhi in 2011.
The FIA recently approved the presentation put forward on behalf of the FMSCI by its Chairman Vijay Mallya at the World Council meeting in Monte Carlo and will as a result host the Gala on December 9-10 next year.
The annual Prize Giving Gala honours World Champions in Formula One, World Rally Championship, Karting and Touring Cars, among others, and is a spectacle on its own accord.
The crowning of 2010 champions took place in Monte Carlo Dec 10 with FIA President Jean Todt presenting Sebastian Vettel, the youngest ever Formula One World Champion, with his Formula 1 Driver's Trophy.
FMSCI president KD Madan said he was thrilled at the news.
"This is a defining moment for Indian motorsport. First the Indian GP and now the awards taking place in India. It is a clear indication that India is now well and truly on the world map even in the motorsport world!
"We could not have imagined this couple of years ago but the FMSCI has been working really hard to make motorsports one of the top sports in the country. To be the first country in Asia to host the FIA Annual awards speaks volumes of how Indian motorsport is seen by global audiences.
"Next year is going to be a proud year for Indian motorsports and we will need all the support we can get from the rest of the nation to make it a success."
The added surprise, however, came through the announcement that the FMSCI and Delhi would also play host to the year-ending FIA World Council Meeting and the FIA Annual General Meeting, held during the same period as the Gala.
The FIA's AGM would see over 900 delegates from almost 200 countries in attendance at Delhi next year to review the season's Motorsport and to secure future plans and set them in place.