Defending champion Karna Kadur (ARKA Motorsports), Gaurav Gill and Amittrajit Ghosh (from Team Mahindra Adventure) will look forward to begin the season with a bang in the first round of the MRF Rally of Coimbatore at the Kethanur Windmill farm near Palladam here on Sunday.

“Last year my car broke down so I couldn't be among the top contenders. That’s in the past but now I am ready and raring to go. We have new car set-ups from the next round which will make the cars faster and so a lot more exciting for us,” said Gill, the two-time APRC champion.

For Kadur, he will be representing a new team this season. “I would need some time to get the car into the groove. But I am feeling good and confident," he said.

Ghosh, the two-time INRC champion, said he was a little rustic. “I hadn't been in a rally car for seven months but I will get into my rhythm soon."

The FMSCI Head Akbar Ebrahim said the new rally season would be highly competitive. "We have close to 35 teams which is a very good start and
we have six rounds as well which will test the drivers a lot more.”

This year, the stage layout has been changed. "We have created artificial jumps to make it a bit exciting,” said J. Prithviraj, the Clerk of the Course.

Interestingly, for the first time the promoters will be hosting a round in Arunachal Pradesh. The good news is, it is being backed by Arunachal Tourism.

Another first in Indian motorsports is the use of an air ambulance to cope with any emergencies.