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New INRC season set to begin with 45th South India Rally

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Chennai, April 21 (IANS) The MRF 45th South India Rally — which doubles up as the first round of the Indian National Rally Championship 2022 (INRC 2022) and is scheduled between April 22-24 — has attracted 48 entries and is headlined by newly-crowned 2021 Overall National champion, Himachal’s Aditya Thakur (co-driver Virender Singh).

Thakur, who also topped the INRC-3 category last season, has moved up to INRC-2 category in the new season.

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The field for the three-day event also includes a clutch of other top competitors such as Delhi-based seven-time national champion Gaurav Gill (Musa Sherif, Kasargod), Bengaluru’s Karna Kadur (Nikhil Pai), winner of the Asia Cup round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship at the same venue last month, and defending INRC-2 champion Fabid Ahmer (Sanath G) from Kerala.

The MMRT circuit in Sriperumbudur, about 35km from Chennai, will be the hub of action, hosting the Super Special Stage and one of the two Special Stages.

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The total distance of the Rally is about 300km which includes about 123km of competitive section. The competitors will do a reconnaissance of the route on April 22, while the Stages would be run over the next two days.

The 2021 season, delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions, was completed last month. It meant a very short turnaround period of about three weeks before the commencement of the 2022 season. Still the rally has attracted a sizeable number of entries.

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The notable absentees are England-based Amittrajit Ghosh and his co-driver Ashwin Naik from Mangaluru in the premier INRC Overall category, who have been among the top title contenders, but opted to skip this weekend’s rally.

Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC) president Ajit Thomas said, “After the challenges that we faced during the past two years, it augurs well for the sport that the INRC has a new promoter. We also thank MRF Tyres for associating themselves with the event. We are hoping to see a full season of rallying as during the pre-pandemic years.”

–IANS

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