MRF South India Rally to usher 2022 INRC season

Gaurav Gill....one of the top title contenders (FILE PHOTO)
  • MRF South India Rally to usher 2022 INRC season
  • 48 entries for Round 1 of National championship

Chennai, April 21: The MRF 45th South India Rally, organised by the Madras Motor Sports Club and scheduled to be held here from April 22 to 24, will usher in a new season as the event doubles up as the first round of the Blue Band Sports fmsci Indian National Rally Championship 2022 with a new promoter in place.

The three-day event has attracted 48 entries headlined by newly-crowned 2021 Overall National champion, Himachal’s Aditya Thakur (co-driver Virender Singh) who also topped the INRC-3 category. For the 2022 season, Thakur has moved up to INRC-2 category.

Aditya Thakur….the defending champion (FILE PHOTO)

The very competitive field also includes a clutch of other top-notch competitors such as Delhi-based seven times National champion Gaurav Gill (Musa Sherif, Kasargod), Bengaluru’s Karna Kadur (Nikhil Pai), winner of the Asia Cup round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship at the same venue last month, and defending INRC-2 champion Fabid Ahmer (Sanath G) from Kerala.

The MMRT circuit in Sriperumbudur, about 35 Kms from Chennai, will be the hub of action, hosting the Super Special Stage and one of the two Special Stages, besides the Rally Headquarters and the Service Park.

The total distance of the Rally is about 300 Kms which includes about 123 Kms of competitive section. The competitors will do a reconnaissance of the route on Friday (April 22), while the Stages would be run over the next two days.

The 2021 season, delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions, was completed last month. It meant a very short turnaround period of about three weeks before the commencement of the 2022 season, but yet, the MRF 45th South India Rally has attracted a sizeable number of entries.

Fabid Ahmer, the defending INRC-2 champion (FILE PHOTO)

The notable absentees are England-based Amittrajit Ghosh and his co-driver Ashwin Naik from Mangaluru in the premier INRC Overall category, who have been among the top title contenders, but opted to skip this weekend’s Rally.

MMSC President Ajit Thomas said: “After the challenges that we faced during the past two years, it augurs well for the sport that the INRC has a new promoter and we welcome Blue Band Sports on board. We also thank MRF Tyres for associating themselves with the event. We are hoping to see a full season of rallying as during the pre-pandemic years.”

Clerk-of-the-Course, Manoj Dalal said: “As usual, we have left no stone unturned to provide a safe and secure environment for the competitors whom we thank for responding positively and in large numbers despite a short interval of about three weeks between events. With new promoters, Blue Band Sports in place and MRF Tyres pitching in, we hope to have an action-packed weekend of rallying.”

Karna Kadur, Asia Cup round winner and a title contender (FILE PHOTO)

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