‘Monsoon Challenge’ Rally to Flag Off from City
Mangaluru: After a decade or so the coastal city of Mangaluru will get into the national rally championship mode. The ‘monsoon challenge’ will be flagged off for the first time in Mangaluru on 24 June, from Forum Fiza Mall – Pandeshwar here at around 5pm or so. The rally is sponsored by the auto major Mahindra and Mahindra in association with CEAT tyres, and organised by the Indian Motor Sports Club (IMSC). The 600 plus kilometer rally will observe the Time Speed, Distance (TSD) mode which is the basic mode in modern motor rallying.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, ace rallyist and ‘Clerk of the Course of Monsoon Challenge’ – Ashwin Naik, hailing from Kudla said “All these five years since the Monsoon Challenge was initiated, the rally used to either have Mangaluru as transit point or end point, but this time we considered the city for launching the rally as we want the put Mangaluru into the rallying mode again as many talented youths in motor sports have come up from this city, even now there is considerable level of interest in the youth about the rally as a sport, the rallying sport is not just about speed but it is also about discipline and safety the modern day rallying gives paramount importance to safety” .
Incidentally Ashwin is the only Indian driver so far to participate in the British Rally. Ashwin to his credit has more than 175 national and international rallies till date and has represented many teams. Presently he races Indian National Rallying Championship for MRF and Cross Country Rally for Mahindra Adventures. He has won the Indian National Rally Championship in 2012, Winner in Thailand 4×4 rally, Malaysian Rally, Dhakshin Dare in 2010, Rally of Orissa 2010 (Indian National Rally), Desert Storm 2012(extreme), 2nd in Rally of Kerala 2010, Rajasthan 2010 and 3rd in Rally of Maharashtra 2010. His latest adventure was taking part 2016 British Rally Championship, in which he won the third place along with his co-driver Amittrajit Ghosh from Kolkata.
Other top rallyists from Mangaluru includes Moosa Sharief, who has won many national championships including the Himalayan, Desert storm and Dakshin Dare. The Monsoon challenge will also see some of the best rally drivers in the TSD mode including Sanjay Takle of Pune who is a driver of the Asia Pacific Rally standards, and Karthik and Shankaranand from Erode who have won the monsoon challenge last year. The Monsoon Challenge will be launched on Friday,24 June from Fiza Forum Mall at 5 pm or so by the MP of Mangaluru Lok Sabha constituency Nalin Kumar Kateel. Other politicians and VIPs could also join in the flag off ceremony.
According to the organizers, the rallyists will pass through Kollur, Shimoga and will encounter various treacherous sectors in the rural and interior parts of the state before ending the 600 kilometer run in Canacona in South Goa on Sunday, 26 June. During their run they will travel only for 200 kilometers on national highway on NH 66 and NH 169. The speed limits recommended by the Federation of Indian Motor Sports Clubs (FMSCI) at 45 kilometers per hour will be incorporated in the TSD mode. Regarding the TSD mode, Ashwin said, “The Himalayan challenge, Desert Storm and Dakshin Dare rallies also use this mode. The TSD mode is safe for the drivers as the calculations of winning margin and placings are done on the basis of Time Speed and Distance, even the streetcar users can participate in TSD driven rallies without any modifications on the vehicles”.