The Rally of Coimbatore, the opening round of the FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2021, has attracted a record 57 entries. The drivers all have been eagerly waiting for this day and, obviously, one can expect them to be fast and furious on the smooth and flowing terrain this weekend.
The championship, with MRF Tyres as the associate sponsor, is a spill over from last year due to the pandemic and will now comprise three rounds — Rally of Coimbatore (Feb 25-27), Karnataka-1000, Bengaluru (March 11-13), and the South India Rally, Chennai, (March 25-27) — promoted directly by The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India, the governing body for the sport in the country.
“The Federation welcomes all the participants and stakeholders to the first round of the INRC 2021 in Coimbatore. It was a challenging year due to the pandemic, and the Federation has taken it upon itself to promote the 2021 edition of our flagship championship,” said Akbar Ebrahim, the FMSCI president.
“The large number of entries is a testimony to the enduring enthusiasm of the competitors to whom the Federation offers heartfelt thanks. The FMSCI is also indebted to MRF Tyres who have come on board as the Associate Sponsor, thus enabling us to conduct a three-round championship. It will be our continuing efforts to offer a bigger and better INRC 2022,” he added.
Seven-time National champion and Arjuna Award winner Gaurav Gill from New Delhi will be the star attraction. Behind the three-time FIA APRC champion are a clutch of young guns like Karna Kadur (Bengaluru), Fabid Ahmer (Palakkad) and Dean Mascarenhas (Mangaluru), besides a sprinkling of seasoned campaigners such as 2019 National champion Chetan Shivram (Bengaluru), Amittrajit Ghosh (Kolkata), Arjun Rao (Mangaluru) and Rahul Kanthraj (Bengaluru), with proven track records.
The Coimbatore Auto Sports Club (CASC), the organisers, have moved the event out of the iconic windmill farms in Kethanur, about 30kms from Coimbatore, to a fresh location just off the L&T bypass road on the western side of the city. The two physical Special Stages will be run four times — twice in forward direction on Saturday and twice in reverse direction on Sunday. The total rally distance is 203.33kms of which 120kms is the competitive section.
“This year’s location was last used in the 2018 edition. Basically, our intention is to run a very compact event without long transport sections between the Special Stages. The terrain is much smoother and yet challenging, but fun to drive. For the spectators, there will be plenty of thrills too,” said J. Prithviraj, the CASC Secretary and the Clerk of the Course (CoC).