Ghosh, Naik top Mughal Rally
Srinagar: Amittrajit Ghosh of Kolkata (co-driver Ashwin Naik) and Subir Roy (co-driver Niray Mehta) were declared provisional winners in the Xtreme and Enduro (TSD format) categories respectively in the fourth J&K Bank Mughal Rally which concluded here Saturday.
In the Rally Xtreme (Motorcycles) category, the provisional winner was Mohit Verma of Chandigarh while the husband-wife pair from Bangalore, Satish Gopalkrishnan and Savera D`Souza, led in the Enduro (SUV) class. The final results of the rally were being computed at the time of going to press, and were expected late at night.
Competitors in the Rally Enduro category battled heavy downpour accompanied by a terrible storm for almost four hours on the competitive stage from Reasi to Gool Gulabgarh.
The Rally Marshals were facing a major threat of landslide on this route during the downpour accompanied by lightning. Fortunately, there was no landslide and Rally Enduro was able to pass through the stretch safely.
Competitors in the Xtreme category, which is all about high speed, had to take on the hill climb challenge from Daksum to Sinthan Pass. Atul Handa, General Secretary of Himalayan Motorsport, who was manning Rally Xtreme, said there was heavy rain when Day Two of Rally Xtreme was flagged off from here in the early hours today.
"When the rallyists reached Daksum for the competitive stage, there was heavy fog and mist in the area. Rally Marshals who were stationed on the route much earlier reported that at places, visibility was as low as 10 meters. In order to ensure the safety of the rallyists, the rally had to be halted at Daksum for about three hours," said Handa.
Rallyists were allowed to take on the competitive hill climb up to Sinthan Pass after the fog and mist cleared. On account of the delay, the final competitive stage of the rally had to be cancelled.
J&K Tourism Minister Ghulam Ahmad Mir said: "The Mughal Rally spreads the message of peace in Kashmir both nationally and internationally. Our effort is to showcase the great potential for adventure tourism in J&K. We also want to encourage the youth of the state to take part in adventure tourism."
The Mughal Rally was flagged off in the early hours of Friday by J&K Minister of State for Tourism, Home, Industries and Commerce Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo from the Royal Springs Golf Course, here.
A total of 24 teams took the start in Rally Xtreme (4x4), and 30 in the Enduro while nine bikers started in the Xtreme (Motorcycles) category. The prize money for each category is Rs.2 lakh for the winner, Rs. 1.25 lakh for the first runner-up and Rs.1 lakh for the second runner-up.