It will be a challenging ask for defending champion Gagan Sethi from Delhi and his co-driver Sabathullah Khan (Kolkata) in the JK Tyre Hornbill Motor Rally, a TSD event, which was flagged off at The Heritage here on Wednesday.

The two-time champion found the journey smooth last year. The title came as a sweet surprise for him as well. But, this time around, the Delhi star sounded a bit sceptical about his chances as he would be on the wheels of a Datsun Readi-Go. He was on a Gypsy last year and mastered the different terrains in a rather confident manner.

“It is not just the car but there are at least seven good competitors who can make it really tough for me,” said Gagan.

Last year mobile apps came into play and this time the participants will be allowed to use the rally calculator. About the route, "I assume it might be similar to last year. I am going to keep it simple and basic. Being calm is another thing and I have decided not to carry any extra pressure on my baggage.”

“JK has been participating in the Hornbill festival for a decade. I am thankful to the Nagaland Government and NAMSA (the motorsport association) for providing this platform for young enthusiasts and also for assisting JK Tyre to participate year after year,” said Vikram Malhotra, director, marketing, JK Tyre.