Popular Rally is back on the road again

The event this year though is not part of the INRC

April 19, 2017 10:53 pm | Updated 10:53 pm IST - KOCHI

Making a comeback:  John K. Paul, left, and Bikku Babu announce the return of the Popular Rally.

Making a comeback: John K. Paul, left, and Bikku Babu announce the return of the Popular Rally.

The Popular Rally, which ran for more than two decades before taking a break in 2008, will make a comeback next month.

The event, which used to be part of the Indian National Rally Championship (INRC), will have a ceremonial flag-off from the Marine Drive here on May 13 evening. The actual competition on May 14 will feature special stages at the Malayattoor and Kalady plantations. The Marine Drive will be the finishing point.

While it has the FMSCI’s approval, the Popular Rally this year is not a part of the INRC. However, many prominent national stars are said to have promised to attend the event, which will have a total prize fund of ₹7 lakh.

“We could have run this event as a national championship round this year. In fact, we almost got it on the national circuit in 2015 but it fell through,” said John K. Paul, the MD of Popular Vehicles, the title sponsor of the event. “We will try to have it as a national round next year.”

“Since we are running this event after many years, we want to test the waters before taking a bigger plunge,” said Bikku Babu, a former driver who is part of the Southern Adventures and Motorsports (SAM) team, the organisers of the event.

The rally will be a 300km event, with 85km of it being the 12 special stages.

Apart from the FMSCI Cup, the event will feature competitions in the 2,000cc, Gypsy, Esteem and Open categories.

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