Coffee Day Rally biggest event in Indian motorsport since Formula One

For the first time in recent years, the nation will play host to a round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Starting December 3, the scenic areas in and around Chikkamagaluru will see the best in the business put on a quality show.

Cusco Racing driver Michael Young, Team MRF driver Gaurav Gill and Cusco Racing driver Sanjay Takle at the launch press conference of the Coffee Day India Rally at Bengaluru on Nov 29.   -  Special Arrangement

Gaurav Gill, a seasoned rally driver of international repute, is certain that the upcoming Coffee Day Rally will turn out to be a milestone event for Indian motorsport.

For the first time in recent years, the nation will play host to a round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Starting December 3, the scenic areas in and around Chikkamagaluru will see the best in the business put on a quality show.

“It has been my dream to compete in an APRC round in my home country. I have been waiting to do this for so many years. This is going to be the biggest event in Indian motorsport since Formula One,” Gill said, at a press conference here on Tuesday.

The Team MRF driver, who enters this final round of the season having already captured the 2016 APRC title, added, “I have fond memories of the Coffee Day rally. The people of Chikkamagaluru have always been enthusiastic about motorsport. This time, the crowd response should be even bigger.”

Organised by Motor Sports Club Chikmagalur, the three-day extravaganza has attracted 50 entries — the most for this season. The APRC (4-wheel drive and 2-wheel drive) and FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship — comprising the best of Indian talent — will be held concurrently.

Farooq Ahmed, Vice-President of Motor Sports Club Chikmagalur, stated, “The stages used in the Coffee Day India Rally will be smoother than all the other APRC rounds.”

Farooq explained that the organisers have been working hard to gets things in order. “We started our preparation in mid-October. We have created rally-ready roads from no roads at all. We have people working day and night to ensure that everything progresses smoothly,” he said.

Farooq mentioned that some of the stages used in the previous editions of the Coffee Day India Rally have been replaced, in order to conform to APRC norms. The designated routes are expected to be tight, twisting and fast.