Itanagar to host Indian National Rally Championship of FMSCI
Itanagar is abuzz with excitement as four local rallyists are eagerly waiting to launch their attack on the much-anticipated Indian National Rally Championship that gets under way here on December 16.
ITANAGAR: Itanagar is abuzz with excitement as four local rallyists are eagerly waiting to launch their attack on the much-anticipated Indian National Rally Championship that gets under way here on December 16.
Phurpa Tsering, Pem Sonam, Asha Nabam and Hage Chada Naku are ecstatic that the prestigious event to be organised by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), is beginning in their part of the world this year and believe that it gives them the opportunity to make an impact.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu would flag off the five-day rally which will culminate on December 20 next.
Three-times Asia Pacific Champion and World Rally Championship driver Gaurav Gill and two-times Indian National Rally champion and European Rally Championship driver Amitrajit Ghosh, along with Motorsport Club of Arunachal President Lhakpa Tsering and others, called on Khandu here on Monday and gave details of the Indian National Racing Championship 2020.
Khandu expressed optimism that the event would work as a catalyst to boost tourism in the state.
The chief minister said that with its geographic terrains, the state has all the potential to become the next destination for adventure sports.
Congratulating the local drivers, Khandu expressed happiness that local youths, including girls, are exploring new grounds to hone their talents.
"This is a proof that youths of Arunachal have all the potential to rub shoulders with the best in all fields," Khandu said.
"We are proud to host an event as big as the INRC. I hope that everybody has a wonderful stay and a thrilling season. I hope that the event becomes a grand success," the chief minister said during the meeting.
Arjuna Awardee Gaurav Gill expressed his excitement about resuming the sport after a long hiatus.
"It is a great feeling to be back behind the wheel for a competition after a break due to the Covid-19 pandemic and our team is ready to assert our supremacy once again. I would like to express my gratitude to the Arunachal Pradesh government for their endless support" Gill said.
"I have been very fortunate this year as I have been signed up by JK Tyre, one of the biggest names in Indian motorsports. Their support and backing means a lot to me and I feel truly motivated," said Phurpa Tsering one of the participants from the state about his chances.
Phurpa pointed out that it was the first time in his seven-year long rallying career that he was being sponsored by a big company and that he would not have to worry about raising the money to take part in a national championship.
"I am really excited as I will have ace drivers like Gaurav Gill alongside me, guiding us and giving us valuable tips," the 31-year-old said.
Another driver from the state Asha Nabam, who is supported by JK Tyre, will become the first female driver from the North-East to compete in this Championship.
"I am proud that I will be the first lady driver from the state and I hope this inspires other women to follow us. We have a special bond with speed and adventure and I know that if we do well, many more will follow us," she said.
Speaking of her initiation into the sport, Asha says, "I have been taking part in various motorsports events here. I did very well in the JK Tyre off-roading challenge that is held in Dambuk annually and that triggered my passion for the sport. I am lucky to be familiar with this terrain and am confident that it will hold me in good stead in the two rounds here."
Arunachal Pradesh is one of the states in the North-East that has been very active in motorsports. The sport has become very popular due to the number of events that are organised every year, with JK Tyre at the forefront of it.
Hage Chada Naku is another talented local participant who is looking forward to the first two rounds of the INRC.
"After a long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I am relieved to be able to get back behind the wheel. We have a very strong field for the first two rounds and I am delighted that I will be competing against the very best," he said.
JK Tyre has been closely associated with the world of motorsports for almost three decades back. The company laid down a long term plan to popularise and promote the sport in the country.
Its first target was to change the notion that this was a sport for the elite. So it packaged and redesigned it in a spectator-friendly way, drawing the masses to the sport.