Special Correspondent

Chikmagalur: The Coffee town of Chikmagalur is gearing up for the second leg of the Indian National Rally Championship here from May 4-6.

A total of 36 four-wheelers comprising of two Cedias, 1 Ford fiesta, five Balenos and 25 Esteems will come under the starter's orders over the next three days.

Day one on Friday will have a Super Special Stage at the Amber Valley Residential School and over the week-end the rally vehicles will run over a total distance of 502 kms in Birur and at a Farm stage.

The Rally has lost its fierce competitive edge with the pull-out of one of the major tyre manufacturers. It's no more a Red versus Yellow championship.

But there will be no dearth of action with Gaurav Singh Gill (co-driver Moosa Sherif) driving one of the two Cedias in the fray. Team-mate from MRF Ajun Balu (Kumar Ramaswamy) will be steering the other Cedia. Lohith Urs (Jaidas Menon) will be in the Ford Fiesta.

Regulars opt out

The rally scene has changed a lot with a number of the regulars opting out. Farooq Ahmed, who used to navigate for Gaurav Singh Gill, is now an official as is Sujit Kumar. Sanjay Aggarwal too has cut out from the rally action. However, a number of new comers have taken their places. Chikmagalur flag will be flying with four local teams participating.

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