Mumbai: Rains are still to arrive in full force in the city, but the 25th Gulf Monsoon Scooter Rally, to be run on July 6, is expected to provide stiff challenges for riders in the mining areas of neighbouring Navi Mumbai, says organising chairman Shrikant Karani.
"It will be a very challenging one for two-wheel drivers as even four-wheel drivers find it difficult to negotiate the rough terrain in the mining areas of Belapur. Even a five-minute rain would make it more difficult," said Karani of organisers Sportscraft at a press conference last night.
Defending champion Muzaffar Ali, who won the title in only his second attempt after finishing second on his debut in 2012, will be the man to look out for, said Karani, along with five-time Manjit Singh Bassan, four-time winner Shamim Khan from Nashik and Mumbai`s top rider Rustom Patel.
The rally, the 347th event organised by Sportscraft to be held under the auspices of the Federation of Motor Sports of India, is split into two sectors ? the 40-km transport one between Our Lady`s Home, Parel in Central Mumbai to Navi Mumbai and the 6.8-km triple loop in Belapur, Karani said.
"This Golf Monsoon Scooter Rally could be one of the toughest. There are many past experienced riders participating and will surely find this one challenging. Last year, after the event, they asked for something tougher and they will get it this time," Karani said.
"After negotiating the tough, slushy conditions, most of them are fagged out. The rally will finish at K Star Hotel in Belapur, Navi Mumbai," he said.
"We have received entries from Dehradun (Chinmay Bisht), Bhopal, Bangalore and there have been enquiries from Hyderabad too. We will close the entries to around 40-50 in all," he said, adding that the top prize will be Rs 10,000 followed by prizes for the runner up and third place finisher worth Rs 8,500 and Rs 7,500, respectively.
Auto companies such as Mahindra, TVS and Ceat support some of the riders, said Karani.
"So many riders keep their old scooters in prime condition only to take part in this unique rally. Though the modern generation scooters of four-strokes have taken over, we have kept competition for two-stroke machines too," the chief organiser added.