95 rallyists zoom on twin track near Lalitha Mahal Helipad; 4 women steal the show
Mysore/Mysuru: The Mysuru Dasara Gravel Fest-2023 began with hundreds of cars of different makes, steered by top rallyists showing their prowess on the gravel circuit near Lalitha Mahal Helipad this morning and expected to finish at 5 pm.
Founder-Editor of Star of Mysore and Mysuru Mithra Dr. K.B. Ganapathy flagged off the races, along with Kiran Ranga, Director of N. Ranga Rao and Sons Pvt. Ltd., and also the Managing Director of Ripple Fragrances.
Automotive Sports Club of Mysore (ASCOM) with Department of Tourism, has organised the autocross for the fourth year, ever since it was launched by 12 motorsports enthusiasts, in the year 2017 and held consecutively for three years till 2019 (with a break from 2020 to 2022 due to COVID-19 pandemic).
With adrenaline pumping and plume of dust showing no signs of settling, Gravel Fest turned into a perfect Sunday outing for racing enthusiasts irrespective of men and women, especially youths who were cheering their favourites from gallery, as the vehicles zipped past in full throttle, making a deafening sound.
Fast car races are being conducted in 8 categories, with 95 rally drivers and 170 enrolled from different parts of the State including Mysuru and Bengaluru and other States like Delhi & Mizoram, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Kochi and Palakkad in Kerala, Kolkata in West Bengal, Leh from Ladakh Union Territory taking part in races held in 8 categories — Up to 1100 CC, 1101 CC, 1401 CC, Indian Open, ASCOM Open, 4W Drive Open, Mysore Novice and Ladies Class.
Like every year, women drivers too are not behind, with four women rallyists from Mysuru, Bengaluru, Pune and Mumbai behind the wheels. While winners in each categories will get top three cash prizes in the order of Rs. 15,000, Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 8,000, winners in Apex Class that will see participation of top 10 rallyists will be carrying home the title ‘Mysuru Gravel King’, pocketing a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh with a silver medal.
Unlike other racing circuits, Mysuru Gravel Fest has a twin track circuit of two-km length and 300-feet width each, with a hump, underpass and also ramp. To ensure smooth going of the races, 150 teams comprising 25 in each teams are put in place, taking care of every minute details. To prevent trespassing of viewers, the area around the circuit has been barricaded, with a fire brigade and three ambulances stationed nearby, in case of any emergency.
DC Dr. K.V. Rajendra, who flagged off the cars on arrival at Hotel Lalitha Mahal Palace premises yesterday, said: “There seems to be fresh wave of energy, with the competitions always keeping us aware and agile and wish that auto cross race becomes a grand success.”
Industrialist R. Guru said: “The enthused participation of youths in the auto cross indicates that the country is on a path of progress.”
ASCOM President Phalguna V. Urs said: “Top rallyists like Den Thimmaiah, Chetan Shivaram, John Gill, Dean M, Pragati Gowda, Nikita Takale among others are taking part in races.”