Mysuru: As part of Dasara Festival, Automotive Sports Club of Mysuru (ASCOM) in association with Department of Tourism had organised Gravel Fest Autocross Race at the Lalitha Mahal Helipad Grounds here this morning.
Over 7,000 adventure enthusiasts gathered to see cars zooming on dirt-and-gravel tracks. Dirt roads provided a perfect sanctuary for a gravel rider. Crowds cheered as race cars and modified mean machines, driven by expert drivers, zipped past tracks and navigated hairpin bends and cleared humps and hurdles.
The race was held under nine categories of cars depending on the capacity of the engines including a special Ladies Class and APEX class for specially tuned fast cars. In all 100 racers participated including 10 ladies.
ASCOM is hosting the event for the third time and the winner of the race called Gravel King will take home a cash prize of Rs.2 lakh and a silver trophy, according to ASCOM Director Arun Urs. The race was flagged off by Tourism Department Deputy Directors S. Janardhan.
Last year’s Gravel King Dhruva Chandrashekar of Bengaluru participated in his 1600 CC polo. The racers also included Den Thimmaiah of Mysuru, D. Mascarhenas and Chetan Shivaram of Bengaluru, Amanpreeth Singh of Delhi and Achitya Malhotra of Himachal Pradesh (won 2nd place last year). A new team Mysuru Novice, 16 young racers of city, was a new inclusion.
Harshita Gowda of Bengaluru who stood first in the ladies class last year was back now in her 1600 CC Cedia. Former Minister G.T. Devegowda and Actor Darshan paid a visit and greeted the racers. The race was determined by the time taken to cover a distance of 2 km. The final results would be announced after the conclusion of the race later in the evening.
The organizers had provided seating arrangement for about 8,000 spectators. Big screens were strategically placed to catch the racing action in the circuit. Fire engine and ambulance were stationed to handle any emergency.