Uttarkhand Rally draws some top motorists

Dehradun: The husband-wife team of Satish Gopalkrishnan and Savera D’Souza from Bangalore head a strong field of 35 entries participating in the three-day, 1,000-km Uttarkhand Adventure Car Rally commencing here Dec 21.

Uttarakhand Tourism is organising the rally that has been designed to touch some of the major tourism hotspots of the state through mountains and plains as the state is promoting to be one of the premier tourism destinations in the country.

Uttarakhand Tourism Secretary U.K. Panwar said: “Uttarakhand has coped with natural disasters by rehabilitating the disaster victims. At the same time, we have built new roads and infrastructure which is the lifeline of tourism in the state."

“The rally will spread the message nationally and internationally that the state is once again the ‘eco-adventure tourism destination’ for skiing, white-water rafting, wildlife photography, and now also motorsport.”

Besides Gopalkrishnan and D’Souza, winners of Dakshin Dare, Desert Storm and the 2013 FMSCI National championship, Ajgar Ali from Haldia near Kolkata has teamed up with champion TSD navigator Mohammad Mustafa from Erode. Ajgar Ali has major wins to his credit, including the top spot in the Mughal Rally 2013 and the Hornbill Rally, Nagaland.

Challenging the top guns is Jagmeet Gill of Chandigarh, TSD winner of Raid de Himalaya 2013 and second overall in Dakshin Dare. Gill and navigator Chandas Das are driving for Team Maruti in the rally that is authorized by the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of India (FMSCI).

There is sizable participation of the youth of Uttarakhand in the rally that is being organised by Himalayan Motorsport, which also conducts the world-famous Raid de Himalaya. The rally is supported by Maruti Suzuki and JK Tyre.

Dec 22, the rally will begin early morning from Dehradun. It will go to Rishikesh, Shivpuri, Dev Prayag, Rudra Prayag, Karna Prayag, Chamoli and Joshimath to end at the ski resort at Auli, after covering about 300 km.

The route from Dehradun to Shivpuri and beyond features some of the most popular stretches in the world for white water rafting. On Day 2, the rally will come down from Auli to Karna Prayag. It will then proceed towards Chaukhutiya and Kumerian to reach Ramnagar on the east of Jim Corbett Park after a run of about 280 km.

On Day 3, the rally will go across some of the most picturesque roads in the state via Nainidhada and Kotdwar to culminate at Dehradun.

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