Chikmagalur, 6 June 2014: There is little doubt that TSD rallying is gaining popularity among the motorsport-loving public. It’s fun, safe due to the low speed and does not need a lot of time and investment as in stage rallying.
The first round of the 2014 FMSCI-Indian National TSD Rallying Championship will be held in Chikmagalur on Sunday, June 8, and this event will be followed by eight other rounds across India. After Chikmagalur, the third edition of this National Championship will move to Jaipur (June 28-29), Bengaluru (Aug 16-17), Coimbatore (Sept 6-7), Nashik (Sept 20-21), Baripada (Nov 8-9), Kolkata (Nov 15-16), Ranchi (Nov 29-30) and Chennai (Dec 20-21). This is the first time the Championship is moving to so many venues across the country. The interest generated will surely go a long way in promoting the sport.
Auto majors Tata, Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki have all confirmed their participation in the 2014 Championship. Competitors and teams registered for the National Championship need to take part in at least six rounds, with one round in each zonal region mandatory, to quality for honours.
TSD, or Time-Speed-Distance, Rallying involves no high speeds. In fact, it is more about calculating precise times and average speeds so as to attract the minimum penalty. Penalty is given to competitors who arrive at the finish too early or late from a given time of arrival. The team that attracts the minimum penalty wins and that is why reaching the finish line at the specified time is key.
The two main categories are Pro Expert and Pro Stock. The Expert class allows the use of unlimited gadgets, while only the stock Odometer and any calculating device are permitted in the Stock class. An exclusive ladies category has been introduced this year. Titles will be given to the best driver, navigator and team in the Expert, Stock and overall classification, and to the driver and navigator in the exclusive ladies Stock category.
Bangaloreans Chidananda Murthy and navigator BS Sujith Kumar have won the Pro Stock category title for the last two years for Team Tata Motors. They will be defending their crown this year and a win will be a record of sorts.
Amol Satoskar (Goa) and Nirav Mehta (Kolkata) will be the second pair for Team Tata Motors. They have won the Raid-de-Himalaya, Desert Storm with different partners and are no strangers to rallying. Team Tata Motors is proud to announce the return of an all-women’s team for the INTSDRC. Vaneeta Kang (Chandigarh) and Nidhi Mittal (Mumbai) have taken part in innumerable cross country rallies and hope to win this time.
Mahindra’s KP Karthick Maruthi and S Sankar Anand are the defending champions in the Overall and Expert categories, while 2012 Pro Expert champions Satish Gopalkrishnan and Savera D’Souza will turn out for Team Maruti Suzuki.
Needless to say, one of the objectives of the INTSDRC is to promote safe driving. All participating automobiles in the Championship will carry the FIA Road Safety logo sticker as part of the FMSCI’s campaign to create awareness among youth involved in motorsports on the importance of road safety.
Kicking off the FIA Road Safety programme, FMSCI president J Prithiviraj recently said
: “More people die in road crashes in India than anywhere else in the world every year. We need to work towards improving road safety awareness in the country. The FMSCI’s Mobility Commission is working on a project that we hope will help in the cause.”
FMSCI-Indian National TSD Rally Championship calendar: Chikmagalur (June 7-8), Jaipur (June 28-29), Bengaluru (Aug 16-17), Coimbatore (Sept 6-7), Nashik (Sept 20-21), Baripada (Nov 8-9), Kolkata (Nov 15-16), Ranchi (Nov 29-30) and Chennai (Dec 20-21).
ends/Press Release from Vivek Phadnis