The new season of FMSCI Indian rally Championship took off on 11th of June from Nasik this year. The rally saw 27 cars competing for a distance of 417 kms. In their SUV’s, the super team comprising of Gaurav Gill with the co-driver Musa Sheriff and Mahindra Adventure team mates Sunny Sindhu with co-driver PVS Murthy, Amittrajit ghosh with co-driver Ashwin Naik led the top IRC class. Evo X’s (Mitsubishi), which was driven by Samir Thapar with co-driver Gurinder Singh Man and Lohitt Urs (Srikant Godwa), gave a tough competition to team Mahindra. This is so because the EVO is said to be more powerful as far as tarmac surface is concerned. It is significant to note that Urs had returned after 2013 for this championship.
In the 2000cc class we had Team Yokohoma from Bengaluru driving their Mitsubishi Cedia. Its drivers Rahul Kantharaj with Vivek Bhatt came together for their 16th season this time. The duo came together for the first time in 2000 and since then they have participated in more than 75 rallies. They have the credit of winning 4 national championships, 4 group championships and finished as runners up at 4 different occasions. Kantharaj had said they will also keep an eye on Volkswagen Polo driven by Arjun Rao Aroor. Team Yokohoma were considered as being strong contenders in the 16000cc class. The drivers were Karan Kadur with co-driver M. Chandrasekar. They were represented by the 2014 winners in this category, Adith KC with co-driver Harish KN. Team Yokohoma was also seen supporting prithvi Dominic, a Yokohoma YCN dealer and motorsport enthusiast. He was also the co-driver with Prithvi Ithal in 2000cc.
There were three special stages in the rally .Two out of these three were located at a distance of 68kms from the city and were held on Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13th.A spectator special stage ,which was 2.03kms long stage, was run once on Saturday evening and twice on Sunday after which the rally was closed.
In the 1600cc category, we had Karna with co-driver Chandrasekhar. He has the credit of winning over 95 events, including both 2 wheelers and 4 wheelers. He has also won 2 National Championship titles and 12 national events.
Finally it was team Yokohama that took the title away and won IRC 2000cc class at Nasik. The new team on the board, Team Yokohama started off its calendar year with a big bang. Team Yokohoma’s Rahul Kantharaj (Vivek Bhatt) drove a Mitsubishi Cedia at the Maharashtra Adventure Rally of Maharashtra. From 2008-201 Yokohoma has been the official tyre partner with Red Rooster. Yokohoma tyres are original suppliers for equipment to many top brands namely Audi, Honda, Nissan, Porsche, Suzuki and Toyota etc. They have completed ten years as the sole tyre suppliers to WTCC, an FIA world Championship. They have participated in motorsport events world over in the past ten years. Team Yokohoma now hopes to do well in the coming championships as well.