- Joaquim Rodrigues of Hero Motorsports wins India Baja 2017 – Dakar Challenge Series in Moto category
- Gaurav Chiripal wins the rally in the Extreme category to earn a direct qualification to MS Desert Storm
Jaisalmer, April 9, 2017: Northern Motorsport organized India Baja 2017 – Dakar Challenge Series came to its end with a day scintillating action with the completion of the fifth and sixth stage of the competition. The end of the rally brought good news for the Bengaluru based TVS Motorsports rider Abdul Wahid Tanveer who became the third Moto contender from India to qualify for ASO organized Dakar Rally 2018 to be held between Peru – Bolivia – Argentina with a prize worth 20,000 Euros. This also ensures the 26-year-old rider a direct qualification into the Merzouga Rally in Morocco later this year.
Abdul Wahid Tanveer qualified in spite of being third overall in Moto category because Rodrigues and Aravind have already competed in the Dakar Rally, which gives them an automatic qualification for the same. Hence, giving an opportunity to a new Indian rider to make it to the prestigious Dakar Rally.
The results at the end of the rally saw Portuguese – Dakar Rally rider from Hero Motorsports – Joaquim Rodrigues win India Baja 2017 with almost a lead of 25 minutes followed by Aravind KP of TVS Racing at the second place and his team mate Abdul Wahid Tanveer finishing in the third place with an approximate difference of 15 minutes from Aravind KP.
Building on his overall lead Joaquim made a strong start in the fifth stage on a hot morning in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan and ended the sixth stage with a world class display of riding to win the India Baja 2017 only on his first ever appearance in India. Aravind KP who trailed by 18 minutes on Day 1 of the rally made very strong efforts to come back but the difference proved to be too much for the Indian rider. Abdul Tanveer on the other hand maintained a sustained run to ensure his third position beating his rival and teammate R. Nataraj who was in the fourth position at the end of four stages of the rally.
The Xtreme category saw a very strong competition between Raj Singh Rathore and Gaurav Chiripal who trailed by 1 minute at the end of the first four stages. Gaurav Chiripal who was driving a modified Vitara was finally able to make his efforts count as he beat Raj Singh Rathore in the time trial in the last two stages of the rally making it his first ever win in the India Baja 2017 rally. Gaurav Chiripal as a result of his win will now get a direct entry into MS Desert Storm to be held next year. The final results in the Xtreme category saw Gaurav Chiripal clinching first position followed by Raj Singh Rathore with a difference of about five minutes from the leader. The third position went to Himanshu Arora who made a splendid display of character in 1350 CC gypsy.
Moto: 1. Joaquim Rodrigues 04:45:22 seconds; 2. Aravind K.P. 05:10:46 secs; 3. Abdul Tanveer 05:25:44secs.
Xtreme: 1. Gaurav Chiripal/Karan Arya – 06:22:22 secs; 2. Raj Singh Rathore/Jeevarathinam J. – 06:27:49secs; 3. Himanshu Arora/Chira Thakur 07:07:17 secs
About India Baja 2017:
Northern Motorsports created India Baja in 2016 with the aim of giving Indian riders a chance to compete at the international level. The race was conceived on the lines of the Baja races that is extremely popular in Europe. The Baja format involves racing from dawn to dusk. The tight schedule of stages and long competitive distances make it an extremely challenging format.
This year, the second edition of India Baja will run as Dakar Challenge event, which the property of ASO. India Baja 2017 will be run in the mighty Thar Desert on the outskirts of the golden city of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, which has some of the biggest dunes in the country. This year, with a competitive distance of 430 km and demanding conditions in the desert with temperatures reaching in the high 40s, it will be a test of mental and physical endurance for the participants.
About Northern Motorsport India:
In 2001 a team of experienced motorsport enthusiasts came together with the objective of revitalising motorsport in the region by conceiving and curating some innovative events. Today, with more than 50 events later, Northern Motorsport is considered a pioneer in its field. The club has successfully devised and conducted a wide range of events, from Sunday navigation fun rallies like the Maruti Suzuki Women’s Power Drive, Nautica Navigators and the Ford Family Challenge to extremely technical National Championship Rallies like the Rally of the North and Rally Desert Storm, which is India’s first international cross-country rally and the Indian National Autocross Championship.
Northern Motorsport has worked closely with and successfully executed tailormade events for Indian corporate entities such as Maruti Udyog, Mahindra, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, JK Tyres, Apollo tyres, Mobil, Fosters, Lease Plan, Ford, Nautica and MRF. The organisation is also credited with being the Indian partners for the globally acclaimed overland expedition ‘PETRONAS SOUTH ASIA EXPEDITION ‘ from KL, Malaysia through Thailand, Vietnam, China, Tibet and then into India, as well as the ‘ HIMALAYAN TRAIL 08’ driving in from Europe to Bhutan.
Given the nature of the events organised by Northern Motorsports, which also promotes tourism, various state governments have actively supported the club’s endeavour.
Northern Motorsport the infrastructure and manpower to design and execute most motorsport format events as well as provide backend assistance to other clubs for conducting such events. Members of the organization are formally accredited to provide technical support to the ASN of the country. Teams supported by Northern Motorsport have successfully competed in the international motorsport arena.