Women rallyists drive home a point in dirt track race

Women rallyists drive home a point in dirt track race

A driver negotiates a carve at the Mysuru Dasara Gravel Fest, a dirt track race, at Lalith Mahal helipad grounds in Mysuru on Sunday. DH PHOTO

Women participants were the cynosure of all eyes during the ‘Mysuru Dasara Gravel Fest’, the first ever car rally held as part of Mysuru Dasara, here on Sunday.

The race was organised by Automotive Sports Club of Mysuru (ASCM), in association with the Mysuru district administration and the Department of Tourism.

As many as 14 women rallyists from Bengaluru, Kodagu, Hassan, Mysuru and other places, showcased their driving skills to negotiate sharp carves and flying off the ramps on a dirt track at Lalith Mahal Palace Grounds.

The gravel race evoked a good response and had received 170 entries under eight categories.

A 23-year-old Harshita Raj Gowda from Bengaluru, who emerged the winner in the women category, said, I made my debut in car rally when I was 12. Since then, I have been participating in the motorsport events.

She rode Maruthi Zen under 1100 CC category and Honda City under women’s category. The fact that the rally was part of Dasara makes it more special, said another budding woman rallyist.

She drove Hyundai i10 in women’s category. The adventurous events like car race are not limited only for men these days, she added.

Top drivers, including Chetan Shivaram and Dhruva Chandrashekar from Bengaluru, B G Thimmaiah from Mysuru displayed their driving skills, techniques of negotiating deep curves, sharp corners and flying off a ramp.

The rally drivers from eight states, including Goa, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Delhi participated in the motorsport.

“Last year too, ASCM had organised the rally in the city. But, for the first time, the motorsport is organised in association with Tourism department as part of Dasara,” said ASCM president Phalgun V Urs.

Tourism Director B Ramu flagged off the rally and Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G Sankar was present. The event was held under eight categories, based on the engine capacity of the cars.

There was also a special section to encourage the youths of Mysuru.

The cash prize of Rs 2 lakh and trophies were given away for the fastest drivers. To keep the event safe for both the spectators and the drivers, a 3-km gravel track was barricaded.

Yaduveer the navigator

Scion of the erstwhile royal family of Mysuru Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar and his wife Trishika Kumari were also part of the rally. Yaduveer and Trishika acted as navigators to Phalgun V Urs, said Aruna V Urs, one of the organisers.