MANGALORE: The stage is set for the first leg of the Gulf Cup Dirt Track Racing 2008 which gets underway at the Karavali Exhibition ground here on Sunday. Organised by Sportscraft, Mumbai, the event has received over 170 entries for the speed challenge, breaking its own earlier record of 162 entries when it staged the various rounds of the national championship last year.

In the elimination rounds held on Saturday, the organisers selected 15 riders each from Indian novice two-stroke and local two-stroke class from the 29 and 19 entries received in either section respectively. Out of the 15 riders who have qualified in the Indian novice two-stroke class, seven are local riders from the city. In the local two-stroke class, a majority of the 15-riders selected are from Karnataka. Leading riders from last years championship rounds including Pramod Joshua, Shamim Khan, Rustom Patel, Pinkesh Thakkar, Snehal Chavan, Ganesh Lokhande, Eeshan Lokhande, and Abhishek Mishra are the ones to watch out for when the action gets going on Sunday. Local rider Arvind K. P. is expected to challenge their supremacy. The local round is being organised in association with Mangalore Motor Sports Association. — Staff Correspondent

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