The two-day Gulf Dirt Track Championship's A round began at the Fisheries College Grounds here on Saturday. As many as 189 motorcyclists from Mangalore and different parts of the country are participating in the event being held under 14 different categories.
The event began with participants attending practice session. The actual races – first of the five rounds of the championship will be held on Sunday. Four other rounds will be held elsewhere.
The championship has been organised by Sportscraft Mumbai in association with Mangalore Motor Sports Association. This A round of the championship is being held in categories including the Foreign Motorcycles Class, Indian Novice Class, Private Expert Class, Karnataka Local Class, Indian Expert Class, Open Event and Mangalore Class.
Asif Jat from Mumbai, one of the participants, pulled out after injuring his right leg. “My family forced me to leave and I proceeded to Saudi Arabia two years ago. I just returned a few weeks ago and I now back to the track. It is purely the passion that brings me back here. I am not worried much about my leg,” Mr. Jat said. He is participating in the Indian Novice Class.
It is again the passion for the sport that that has brought Vishwas S.D., a manager in a private firm in Bangalore, to Mangalore. “I had left the sport five years ago. This is my first visit to Mangalore,” Mr. Vishwas said.
Some participants felt the track to be small. “We usually have a big lap. But here the lap length is too small. Moreover this is not completely a dirt track,” said N. Vinod Kumar from Coimbatore, who topped the Novice category in the 2011 National dirt track championship.
Mr. Kumar is among the 10 members of the VTW Racing team participating in the championship.