Although Wikipedia claims that “motorsport is a popular form of sport in India”, we all know that it is pretty far from the fact; the popular sport in India is Cricket, followed probably by Tennis. It’s not that there are no motorsport events in the country at all; in fact, there are a couple of popular ones such as INRC and JK-NRC, but arguably, India is not the first name when it comes to motorsport. However, that hasn’t stopped the country from having a world-class F1 circuit. Yes, agreed that the circuit hasn’t hosted any races since 2014, but still, it’s good to have one. Just over 830 km (515+ mi) away, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, another world-class facility has come up.
It is called NATRAX—short for National Automotive Test Tracks, a project of the Ministry of Heavy Industries, Govt of India. As the name suggests, it is not intended for any motorsport events, but automotive OEMs can rent a variety of tracks and labs here for development and testing purposes. Spread across 3,000 acres of land, NATRAX also boasts a 11.3 km (7 mi) high-speed track—billed as Asia’s longest high-speed track.
NATRAX offers 16 test tracks in total, which also include a fatigue track, gradient tracks, gravel & off-road tracks, a handling track, another handling track exclusive for two- and three-wheelers, a sustainability track to simulate hill driving conditions, a braking track, a wet skid pad, a noise track, a comfort track, and a dynamics platform.
The vehicle dynamics platform at NATRAX is claimed to be one the largest in the world. A circular pad is connected by a 1,500 m long track. Tests such as constant radius cornering, double lane change, fish hook maneuver, J-turn, slalom, can be performed here.
NATRAX also offers five testing laboratories for OEMs. These include a vehicle dynamics lab, a powertrain lab, a battery testing lab, a CAD/CAE lab, and a vehicle instrumentation lab.
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