Chennai, 4 June 2014: “In a significant step that underlines the growing popularity of the FMSCI-Indian National TSD Rally Championship, the third edition of the competition has gained pan-India presence with the number of rounds almost doubled from the previous year, and at least one round would be held in each of the four zonal regions,” said Sanjay Rajan, Press Officer, Federation of Motor Sports Clubs in India (FMSCI).
The calendar kicks off at Chikmagalur this weekend.
The Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rallying is enjoyed by a wide spectrum of people as speed is not the main criteria, and the rallies are usually staged on regular city roads as well as smooth dirt roads on the outskirts of cities and participation open in stock automobiles.
This is because the objective of TSD rallying is to maintain precise times and precise average speeds on various segments of a predefined route, the focus being on navigation. It connects with the grassroots level of the sport, is very popular, and is seen as the first step for rally enthusiasts.
After being predominantly south India-based last year, the 2014 season of nine rounds will have three rounds in the East zone (Baripada, Kolkata and Ranchi), one each in North (Jaipur) and West (Nashik) and four in the south (Chikmagalur, Bengaluru, Coimbatore and Chennai).
Competitors and teams registered for the National championship will have to take part in a minimum six rounds, with one round in each zonal region mandatory, to quality for honours.
The two main categories are Expert and Stock. The Expert class allows the use of unlimited gadgets, while only stock Odometer and any calculating device are permitted in the Stock class. An exclusive ladies category has been introduced this year.
Drivers and navigators registered for the National championship aside, each rally independently attracts local entries ranging between 50 and 70 cars. The numbers are expected to only grow in this edition.
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.
KP Karthick Maruthi and his navigator S Sankar Anand are the defending champions in the Overall and Expert categories, while Chidananda Murthy and his navigator BS Sujith Kumar will look to make it three-in-a-row in the Stock class.
Team Tata Motors have confirmed their participation in the National championship and will field five cars in the opening round.
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 the youth involved in motorsports on the importance of road safety.
FMSCI President J Prithiviraj, who launched the campaign during the opening round of the JK Tyre Racing Championship in Coimbatore last weekend, 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.”
The 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).
eom/FMSCI press release