Three Indians qualify to ride in this year’s Dakar rally
Both Hero Motorsports and TVS Racing have managed to qualify for the ultimate rally.
The Dakar Rally (or simply "The Dakar"; formerly known as the "Paris–Dakar Rally") is the world’s most challenging cross-country rally event that judges the physical and mental aptitudes of the rider and the machine since its inception in 1978.
Last year, we saw two Indian teams competing in this gruelling contest, Hero MotoSports Team Rally and TVS Racing Sherco, and each had an Indian at the helm of their machines. Hero Motorsport’s C.S Santosh and TVS Racing’s K.P Aravind. This year, the organisers have identified India’s rally-raid as one of the Dakar’s qualifying round for the 2018 Dakar rally in which apart from the mentioned two Indians, TVS Racing added another name - Tanveer. And all of them have aced up and got themselves selected for the toughest rally.
Dakar is where man and machine are made to traverse the toughest of terrains that include sand dunes, mud, grass, rocks, ergs and everything inhumane for a catastrophic 9000 kilometres. It demands the greatest level of endurance and concentration to charter through the wild.
This is the rally world’s biggest event and for one to be selected in this, has to go through many qualifying rounds that are held across the world. The qualifying rounds for the 2018 edition have begun, and what can be described as the most exciting development for motorsports in India, one round of these was held in India. In its very second year of running, the India Baja will bring off- road racing’s biggest name to India, the Dakar.
This year, the organisers have identified India’s rally-raid as one of the Dakar’s qualifying round for the 2018 Dakar rally which happened in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer. This gave an opportunity to Indian competitors to participate in the 2017 Merzouga Rally and in the 40th edition of the Dakar 2018.
TVS Racing pitched in three riders - Aravind KP, who debuted in the Dakar last year, Abdul Wahid Tanveer, 2016 MRF Mogrip FMSCI National National Supercross Champion, R Nataraj, Desert Storm winner in the Moto class. Meanwhile, on the Hero Motorsport’s stable, previous Dakar riders Joaquim Rodrigues and C.S Santosh took up the challenge.
At the end of the Indian stage, there were three Indian riders who got selected to go further into the 2017 Merzouga Rally in Morocco - C.S Santosh, Aravind KP and Abdul Wahid Tanveer. The winner of this rally, Joaquim Rodrigues finished the rally in 4:45:22 seconds, who was followed by Aravind KP at 5:10:46 seconds. Abdul Tanveer took the third spot at 5:25:44 seconds.
The winner of this event took home a cool 20000€ ( ₹ 14 lakh appx.)
This is Indian motorsporsts rivalry in all its glory.