Rana ready for Dakshin Drive challenge

Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Drive will traverse through Chitradurga, Belagavi and Kolhapur before hitting the finishing line in Pune on July 21. Rana was the winner of the last edition of the event, which ended in Goa.

“This is the first time I will be racing on this road. I am looking forward to that experience,” said Suresh Rana about the Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Drive.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

When the Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Drive is flagged off in Bengalauru on Monday, it will be another fresh terrain, another fresh challenge for Suresh Rana.

“This is the first time I will be racing on this road,” Rana told Sportstar. “I am looking forward to that experience.”

The race will traverse through Chitradurga, Belagavi and Kolhapur before hitting the finishing line in Pune on July 21. Rana was the winner of the last edition of the event, which ended in Goa.

That was his maiden title in the southern event, though he has been a serial rally winner for quite some time now. He has triumphed at Raid de Himalaya ten times and come first at the Desert Storm on six occasions.

“So winning the Dakshin Dare last year meant a lot to me,” said the 42-year-old from Manali. “I hope to retain the title.”

He said the southern rally is held in more pleasant weather than Himalayan and the Desert ones. “It is not extremely cold or excessively hot,” he said. “But, it still is going to be an extremely challenging race.”

Rana said he was glad that the Dakshin Dare was getting increasingly popular. “Bengaluru has emerged as rally’s southern hub,” he said. “It is nice to see new drivers coming forward to compete from the south.”

He feels the quality of motorsport was improving all the time in the country. “But, more companies like Maruti should show interest to conduct rallies,” he said. “And there should be corporate sponsorships as well; it is an expensive affair. There is a lot of talent in India, but they need financial support.”

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