Dehra Dun: Rallyist with a controlled aggression Ajgar Ali of Kolkata with partner M Mustafa, navigator from Tamil Nadu beat the others to come out winners at the second Uttarakhand Car Rally that concluded here today.
The team of Ali and Mustafa, driving a Grand Vitara are champions in the Times Speed Distance format, were running second in the rally till yesterday. Today, they finished with total penalty of 3.20 seconds to leave behind Vishnu Singh of Jaipur and navigator Adithya Anthony of Bangalore.
Vishnu and Adithya, driving a VW Polo, were pushed to the second spot with a penalty difference of 13 seconds. They scored total penalty of 3.33 seconds to stand second in the rally.
At the third position were Pratap Thakur (Pune) and Dhiraj Arora (Chandigarh), driving a Gypsy for Team Maruti. Thakur and Arora scored total penalty of 3.40 seconds at the rally. The prizes were given to all the competitors in a glittering ceremony at Hotel Solitaire on the Haridwar bypass, held late evening.
Rally Director Mr Vijay Parmar said that driving through snow over 25 kilometers on the Auli-Joshimath road was the most challenging stage for the rallyists. “We have seldom encountered such heavy snow over a competitive stage even in the Raid De Himalaya. This was the most testing time for all competitors,” said Mr Parmar.
After driving through rain and snow for two days, the rallyists were greeted with brilliant sunshine on the drive from Ramnagar to Dehradun today. The highlight of the day was a drive through the outskirts of the Jim Corbett National Park, and the stretch from Mohan, via Medavan and Rathuadab towards the town of Dugaddah. “This is one of the most amazing drives I have experienced, through nearly 140 kilometers through dense forest and rivers bordered by small villages on the sides. Truly the Uttrakhand Rally combines the best of adventure and the most beautiful destinations and scenic landscape,” said Vishnu Singh of Jaipur, who ranked second at the rally.
The top-ranking teams in the SUV category were Ajgar Ali-M Mustafa (total penalty of 3.20 minutes), Pratap Thakur-Dhiraj Arora, (penalty 3.40 minutes); Sachin Singh-Prakash M, (penalty 3.54 minutes). In the car category, the top teams were Vishnu Singh-Adithya Anthony (penalty 3.33 minutes); Amol Satoskar-T Natarajan (penalty 4.50 minutes), Gagan Sethi-Gagan Mehta (penalty 6.19 minutes).
The Couple’s Prize of Rs 1 lakh went to Kavya Saxena of Delhi with Arvind Balan of Bikaner as her navigator.
The Second Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally was organized by Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) in association with Himalayan Motorsport, the premier Shimla-based motorsport club. Himalayan Motorsport organizes the Raid De Himalaya, one of the top ten toughest rallies in the world.
The rally had started from Dehradun on February 2. The rally was organized on the TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) format, which is the sober format of motorsport and goes at controlled speed in all areas.
The major teams competing in the Uttarakhand Rally included Team Tusker, Team Uttarakhand Motorsports, Team Maruti and Team DASC (Dune Adventure Sports Club).
Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Shri Dinesh Dhanai had flagged off the Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally at its ceremonial flag-off on February 1.
The rally was open to any brand or model of automobile, and SUVs and cars compete separately in their own categories.
Uttarakhand Secretary Tourism Mr Uma Kant Panwar said motorsport is enabling the state to showcase its excellent road network and highly picturesque tourist destinations. Mr Panwar added that motorsport combined well with the state’s entire adventure tourism portfolio of skiing, white-water rafting, trekking, mountaineering and wildlife photography. The rally route covered approximately 1000 kilometers in the state.
Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally offers highly attractive prize money of Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh for the top three teams respectively, and a special prize of Rs 1 lakh for the all-women’s team which performs the best or the best couple’s team. The rally was being supported by Maruti Suzuki and JK Tyres.