Coffee town set for final showdown

High octane action will return to the coffee town as the Coffee Day Rally, the sixth and concluding round of the FMSCI Indian Rally Championship, will get underway on Friday.

The three-day event, which will parade the cream of country’s rally talent, kicks off with the Super Special Stage on Friday evening at the Amber Valley School grounds.

The action, however, will commence on Saturday when the 34 competitors will head to the nearby coffee estates where three Special Stages will be run twice and once more on Sunday.

On view will be some of country’s hottest Rally drivers like 2013 Asia Pacific champion Gaurav Gill with veteran Moosa Sherif in the co-driver’s seat of the Mahindra Adventure team’s XUV 500, besides the likes of Samir Thapar (Gurinder Mann) in a Mitsubishi Evo X, former National champion Vikram Mathias (Swaroop Mohan) piloting the Evo IX and PG Abhilash (Anoop Kumar) driving the Evo VI.

Also in the fray are last year’s INRC title winner and Gill’s team-mates Amittrajit Ghosh (Ashwin Naik) and multiple Desert Storm champion Sunny Sidhu (PVS Murthy), Rahul Kanthraj (Vivek Bhatt) of Team Yokohama and Arjun Rao Aroor (Satish Rajagopal) who switched from IRC 1600 class to IRC (Overall), driving a Volkswagen Polo R2.

With Gill, Kanthraj, Phalguna Urs and Adith KC having clinched the championship in the IRC Overall, IRC 2000, IRC 1600 and FMSCI 1600 classes, respectively, the focus will be on the battles for the other podium spots.

Adding more spice and challenge to the proceedings will be unseasonal rains that have been lashing the region, thus rendering the Special Stages slushy, slippery and tricky while testing the driving skills of the competitors.

The three-day event runs to a total distance of 335.62 kms of which 109.24 kms form the Special Stages with the Service Park located barely 3 Kms from the town.

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