The recent car rally that concluded in Dehradun showed that the State is back on its feet, feel officials
Jagmeet Gill and Chandan Das, winners of Raid De Himalaya TSD Category 2013, have lifted the overall winner’s trophy at the Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally which concluded in Dehradun recently. The three-day rally saw a close fight among the TSD champions of the country. Gill, who was leading on day one, slipped to the fifth position overall on day two of the rally. On the third and concluding day, however, he made significant progress. Jagmeet and Das were driving for Team Maruti.
Bangalore’s champion rallyists and husband-wife duo of Satish Gopalkrishnan and Savera D’Souza ranked second overall at the rally. Gopalkrishnan ranked second in the SUVs category on day one. He scaled up to the first position overall day two. But on the concluding day of the rally, he lost his position to Gill.
Ajgar Ali from Haldia with navigator M. Mustafa of Tamil Nadu ranked overall third in the rally. On day two, Ali was in the fourth position overall, but improved his timings to rise to the third position on the concluding day. Jaipur’s Vishnu Singh, with navigator Adithya Anthony of Bangalore, ranked overall fourth. At the fifth position overall was Rajesh Chalana of Sri Ganganagar with navigator Yogesh Gupta. On day one, Chalana had shared the first position overall with Jagmeet Gill, but went down in ranking on the second and also the third day.
Gil, with navigator Das, won the prize of Rs.5 lakh announced by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna. Gopalkrishnan and D’Souza won the second prize of Rs.3 lakh, while Ali and Mustafa claimed the Rs.2 lakh third prize.
The Chief Minister had also announced a Rs.1 lakh prize for the all-women’s team that scored the highest at the rally. This was won by Rinchen Nargolwala and Latika Narang.
Several senior bureaucrats from the State and the Centre participated in the rally. These included Dehradun Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Magistrate B. Purushottam, and Madhukaur Naik, Private Secretary to the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment. “The rally will send out a strong message that infrastructure in the State is normal, and Uttarakhand is back on the rails as a premier tourism destination,” said Purushottam.
The rally was backed by Uttarakhand Tourism to spread the message that roads and infrastructure in Uttarakhand are good, and the State is once again a “eco-adventure tourism destination” for skiing, white-water rafting, wildlife photography, and now also motorsport.
The rally route touched some of the favourite tourism attractions in Uttarakhand. These included Shivpuri for white-water rafting, the ski resort at Auli, and Garjiya on the periphery of the Jim Corbett Park.
The Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally was organised by Himalayan Motorsport, the Shimla-based motorsport club which organises the Raid De Himalaya. The event followed the TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) format. This is considered the sober form of motorsport that allows competitors to go slow in populous areas, and stick to specified speed limits at all times.
Through the rally, the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board hopes to raise further resources to assist those affected by the floods. Rally director Vijay Parmar said the initiative has great potential to grow into a major motorsport event with international participation. “With the great support of the government, the rally saw the participation of most of the TSD rallying champions of the country. Next year, the Uttarakhand Rally can develop as the premier TSD round of Indian National Rally Championship. We are looking at the inclusion of these rally routes in the Raid De Himalaya next year, on its way to Kathmandu,” he said.