Unfazed by militancy, Mughal Rally rolls into Srinagar

Srinagar, June 26 (IANS) Undeterred by the spurt in militancy in the Kashmir valley over the last three days, about 130 champion rallyists from all parts of the country are rolling into Srinagar for the fourth Mughal Rally.

The rally gets its name from the road used by Mughal emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan to traverse Kashmir to go to Lahore. The rally is India’s first hill climb motorsport battle and will be held June 28-29.

There are 28 teams in Rally Xtreme (4X4), nine riders in Xtreme (Motorcycles), and 32 teams in Rally Enduro. Rally Xtreme is all about speed while Enduro follows the time-speed-distance (TSD) format. The vehicles will be scrutinised Thursday.

Amanpreet Ahluwalia, second at 2012 Raid De Himalaya and first in 2013 Sub-Himalayan Rally, said he has been preparing his vehicle for the last three months.

“What I want now is to rally, drive fast and safe and get the winner’s trophy,” said Ahluwalia, part of Delhi-based Team Terrain Tigers, who are coming with six teams in Rally Xtreme and one in Rally Enduro. Each team comprises a driver and a navigator.

Other top rallyists converging for the event include Amittrajit Ghosh, winner of 2012 Mughal Rally, Suresh Rana of Team Maruti, Satish Gopalkrishnan of Bangalore, Jagmeet Gill of Chandigarh and biker Mohit Verma.

The rally also has four women’s teams this year in the TSD category.

The hill climb race will be held across two of the highest peaks of the track – Pir Ki Gali and Sinthan Pass. Pir Ki Gali is the highest point on the Mughal Road at an elevation of 3,505 metres approximately while Sinthan Pass, at an altitude of 3,748 metres, is on National Highway 1B.

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