Mangalore: Chasing monsoon is the motto and there would be no better way to do it than in the scenic Western ghats that receives fare share of rain just as monsoon hits theKerala coast.
Having rested for some time now after having driven the first round of the Malaysian Rally Championship, and with APRC China Rally being struck off the calendar, Pune rally driver Sanjay Takale has turned his attention to Mahindra Adventure Monsoon Challenge Rally that will be flagged-off on Saturday morning here.
Manoeuvring the challenging route of over 650-km over two days from Mangalore to Murdeshwar on way to Shimoga before ending in Panjim, Goa, this rally is a treat for a nature lover.
“It was a long break for me as APRC calendar restarts in August now and I needed to brush up my driving skills because too long a rest can be counter-productive,” said Takale, who took the first start at the Ceremonial Flag-off here on Friday.
Landing here straight from Pune via Bengaluru, Takale had no time to even test his Mahindra XUV. He straightaway rushed to the flag-off ceremony with Mohammed Mustafa being his navigator.
The two have partnered in many title winning rallies across Southern India and in Desert Storm rallies through Rajasthan and Gujarat.
“I am from Erode, the place that is known for producing navigators. I learnt the art of navigator very early, but it was Takale who brought in the professionalism and I learnt a lot from him about using technology to better performance,” said Mustafa about Sanjay Takale.
“Most of the rally drivers fully depend on navigators for instructions, but Takale showed how drivers themselves can contribute to navigation part, which is very helpful,” said Mustafa as he reminded that the two still hold the national record of 3 second penalty for a whole day.
The 7th edition of the Monsoon Challenge, the biggest TSD on the circuit with the most rewarding prize money on offer, will have 25 vehicles from the Mahindra stable.
Held under the Mahindra Adventure umbrella, it is a part of the Challenges series of motorsport events that were launched six years ago. A unique concept, as the name suggests, TSD rallies are not only about speed but also about calculated precision of time and distance. The driver and the navigator are expected to keep a track of time in tandem with the distance covered.
The route will have highways, B roads and rough road stretches with the magnificent Western Ghats as the omnipresent backdrop. The route is chalked out by the Indian Motor Sport Club of India.