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2W RALLY Imran Pasha wins Rally de Bengaluru

SUPERCROSS Yuvraj Singh Kondedeshmukh dominates

INAC Philippos & Dhruva shine



IMPRINT Editor S. Ashok Kumar Tiwari

Hi, Our New Look. AUTO TRACK is on a new track...


he INRC calendar is to commence from March and it is a boost as this early beginning is going to be run along with APRC round. But even as the dates are closing in, still there is no clarity on the participants from other countries with Corona virus really taking its toll. The huge enquiries from foreign drivers that came once the calendar was announced, were put on a halt, as the virus fears still hold a strong grip. The organisers of the round, MMSC have done their ground work well in advance, and are well-prepared for the execution. With One new stage of 7.5-km distance, named Alfa, between MMRT and Aavisa will be a stopover stage that will be run twice in forward and once in reverse direction. After a very successful Hampi Fest rally, autocross and TSD Rally, the venue found a place in the National Rally calendar for both two and fourwheelers. After the successful first edition of JSW Utsav de Hampi this February, a similar and more vibrant fest is going to be organised in the month of November. It will include two-wheeler INRC, four-wheeler INRC and a parallell Dirt-track event for two-wheelers and one round of the INAC or finals as part of the Utsav. As November will be the coolest season, it is the right choice keeping the extreme temperature in view. The two-wheeler MRF Mogrip FMSCI INRC for twowheelers promoted by GodSpeed finds a few new destinations including, Jaipur and Hampi. Pune, Indore and Vadodra are excluded, probably these are reserved for MRF Supercross. A few championships like the INAC for four-wheelers, four-wheeler Gymkhana and Sprint for two-wheelers ran at a very basic level and, a lot more focus is needed to uplift these championships. While the Sprint for four-wheelers and Dirt Track along with TSD Championship never took off last year, their fate could be assessed this upcoming season. With TVS Racing, after dominating the Indian race circuits for three decades, now decided to show its presence in the Asian Racing Circuit, by pitching in three of their riders at the next level. Let us all wish the best for the upcoming 2020 motorsports season.

S. ASHOK KUMAR TIWARI Editor M: +91-9845296190

Concept and Design: S. Ashok Kumar Tiwari Staff Photographers: Keshav Murthy, Nirav Mehta Prakash Rawat, Noor Director / Correspondent: Roopa A. Tiwari General Manager Circulation & Sr. Correspondent: S. Nithyanand Correspondent: K. Manjunath Ghanshyam A Tiwari Spl. Correspondent: David Bodapati Western Region: Mob 09757176958 Northern Region: Mob 09871765886 Editorial Office: Auto Track 7/3-1, Lalitha Engineering Building, Subbanna Garden Main Road, Vijayanagar, Bangalore-40 For Subscription, contact: 9845296190 For Advertisement, E: The Publisher makes every effort to ensure that the magazine’s contents are accurate. However, he accepts no responsibility of any effects arising therefrom. Printed at Raj Hans Enterprises, Rajajinagar Industrial Town, Bangalore-560044. Published by S.Ashok Kumar Tiwari At # 7/3-1, Lalitha Engineering Building, Subbanna Garden Main Road, Vijayanagar, Bangalore - 560040


















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Will Indian cars run in the APRC round ? Yes they can run and, many Indian teams have shown their willingness to participate in APRC this season. This is not new, it had happened in the very first season a few years back as a class was formed for the Indian drivers on Indian cars. Now as the safety and other norms are different for these cars, one can abide with the SR and field their cars in this class, parallelly INRC is also going to run along with this, and we can expect at least close to 50 entries in this first round of INRC. Despite falling in the same financial year 50 should be a good number. Over 155 kms of Special stage including two Super Special Stages will be in the menu. Aavisa stage set a lot of discomfort in 2019 after heavy rains, but as if everybody's prayers were


heeded, there were no rains expected on those days. The organisers, this season, have identified the water-logging patches and have eliminated about 2-kms of stage and added a further 6 kms towards the northern side of the track which is safer in case it rains. Thus the stage distance is 17.3kms. Alfa stage which is at a closer distance from the Service Park towards Aavisa is about 7.5kms and, it will be run only thrice, twice in forward and once in reverse, since the surface is too soft and the mud is expected to pile up. Keeping this in view, only one reverse run is declared. To make the MMRT track more challenging, it has been extended by another 2 kms which stands to 13.8 kms now. Two Super Special Stages on tarmac of 4.8kms will be run, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, both in

reverse direction. Will the same stages from Utsav De Hampi remain for INRC 2020? After a very successful JSW Utsav de Hampi, it is now scheduled for the INRC 2020 Championship. The usual track which will cumulate to 18 kms per run, is going to be made more exciting. The single stage will be more than 18kms and transport can be avoided for the second 6-km stage which is near Hampi. The organisers are planning to increase the length of the first stage and it is a welcome move. The whole track will be in the vicinity, which will be a step towards decreasing the total running time of the event. As of now multiple activities are planned for the upcoming Utsav De Hampi 2020 in November at the same venue. What kind of improvement can be

expected this season? Every upcoming season paves way for improvements and changes for the better. The honourable Sports Minister of India Kiren Rijiju is showing keen interest in motorsports, and we imagine how it could be, if the federation could capitalise on this. It can do wonders with Government's support. If things go well, organising will be made more affordable and easy. But the major worry is bringing in money to the sport. Even now, only two top players are in Motorsports. MRF and JK Tyre are shouldering all the major championships. New tyre manufacturers can definitely bring in a lot more development to the left-out championships like, Gymkhana, Sprint, Autocross and Dirt track.



Jehan Daruvala to race in F2 In a big boost to Indian Motorsport, Red Bull Racing Formula 1 Team have signed up ace Indian driver Jehan Daruvala for their Red Bull Junior Programme, paving the way for the country's big racing hope to compete in the FIA Formula 2 Championship. Jehan, who has taken giant strides in the sport since his debut in 2009 as a 10-year-old kid, will race for Carlin, alongside fellow Red Bull Junior Yuki Tsunoda, in his maiden F2 season, it was announced recently. His first race is in the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 21. The

Red Bull Junior programme has been instrumental in producing some of the world's best F1 racers over the years including, four-time World F1 Champion, Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Alex Albon, and many others. The selection into the Red Bull programme is a huge recognition for the young Indian who has consistently performed well at the top of every series he has participated in, culminating in a fantastic season last year where he finished 3rd in the FIA F3 championship.

TVS Apache RR310 BS-VI 2020

TVS Motor Company, a

Altroz launched Marking its entry into the premium hatchback segment, Tata Motors launched the Altroz in January. The Altroz will be available in five trim levels across all Tata Motors authorised dealerships at an introductory price starting from Rs.5.29 lakhs for the petrol version and Rs.6.99 lakhs for the diesel version, a release said in Bengaluru.

Xtracks, a Hero riding experience Hero MotoCorp organised its exclusive riding experience, named 'XTracks – Live the Thrill' in Kochi recently. The event saw an overwhelming response from the city with over 300 participants experiencing the XPulse 200

reputed manufacturer of twowheelers and three-wheelers in the world, brings in the next generation of TVS Apache RR310 BS-VI 2020 motorcycle. Born out of the rich racing heritage of TVS Racing, the motorcycle is an extension to the company's ethos of ensuring higher levels of customer experience with a greener technology.



The Altroz is the first vehicle developed on the new ALFA architecture and the second vehicle showing the Impact 2.0 design language. With its striking design, bouquet of industry-first features and the recent achievement of Global NCAP 5-star rating, it has set the Gold Standard in safety, design, driving dynamics, technology and customer delight.

and honing their off-roading skills. 'XTracks' provides riders and enthusiasts with an exciting opportunity to experience the Indian Motorcycle of the Year, Hero XPulse 200, on a speciallycurated off-road track.



SIAM's Road Safety Week Youth has the power to change the world. And with that motive, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) kicked off on January 11 the National Road Safety Week in

Delhi. The initiative began with a 'Walkathon for Road Safety Awareness' from India Gate to S̀hastri Bhawan, in the Capital. This year's theme was 'Bringing Change Through Youth Power'.

Honda's gesture for road safety In its commitment to make Indian roads safer, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Private Limited flagged off a road safety programme in Karnataka at Kolar in January. In association with Karnataka State Police (KSP), it aims to

provide quick assistance to road accident victims to save their lives by providing specially-equipped motorcycles for quick rescue and emergency response in and around Kolar District of Karnataka.

Team MRF Tyres for European Rally Team MRF Tyres announced in February that it will be back on the international rally stage in 2020 with a full season European Rally Championship campaign. Ireland's Craig Breen and codriver Paul Nagle will spearhead the campaign

Mahindra 25th lakh vehicle

driving a Hyundai i20 R5 prepared by the Italian BRC Racing Team. Craig Breen has competed in 61 WRC rallies, twice finishing on the podium. He is the reigning Irish Tarmac Rally Champion and finished second in the 2015 ERC.

Big Boy Toyz adds XC 90 Volvo Renowned pre-owned luxury car trader, Big Boy Toyz, announced the incorporation of XC 90 Volvo Hybrid Lounge Car to their existing vehicle

inventory. It has a total of 7 units of this three-seater car in their portfolio available in their showrooms in Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Female Bullet cops Bengaluru City Police in partnership with Royal Enfield created an all-woman motorcycle riding brigade, 'We for Women'. The female team on Enfield bikes makes Bengaluru a safer city for women and children. Fifteen O8 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

Mahindra & Mahindra Limited (M&M) announced a significant milestone as the company rolled out its 25th lakh vehicle from its Nasik manufacturing facility in February. Mahindra's power brand Scorpio was the 25th

lakh vehicle that was rolled out from the facility. The journey of Mahindra's Nasik manufacturing facility started in 1981 with a total area covering 147 acres, and a production capacity of 210,000 vehicles.

dedicated Police SubInspectors with a passion for riding were trained to enhance their riding skills, under various conditions, to tackle any challenge they might face while on duty. The woman R̀iding Brigade' would take on patrolling duties in order to make

Bengaluru safer for women. While the creation of this team helped bring forth the smart lady officers who are dedicated towards making Bengaluru safe, Bengaluru City Police along with Team Royal Enfield also endeavors to break the gender stereotypes in the society


Amendola clinches

MRF Challenge 2019 crown Indian-American Sudaramoorthy wins a race to cheer the crowd PHOTO BY: SRINIVASA KRISHNAN / ANAND PHILAR


elgium's Michelangelo Amendola, the 18year old from Belgium, picked up sufficient points from two third-place finishes and a sixth, to emerge the new champion in the FIA-approved MRF Challenge which concluded at the MMRT, Chennai, in February. Amendola, did not win any of the three races run on the final day of the season but garnered enough points. On the final day, it was 16-year old IndianAmerican Yuven Sundaramoorthy, with family roots in Madurai, who gave the crowd something to cheer about by winning a race. British teenager Louis Foster and Australia's Dylan Young


took the honours in the other two races of the last day of the thrid and last round. A third place finish in Race5, ensured the 18-year Amendola the title in his third attempt as he opened up an unassailable 34-point lead over his nearest rival Young, going into the last race. Amendola finished with 247 points, including five wins over three rounds, to Young's 223 (3 wins) while Britain's Joshua Mason (176) was placed third in the championship. Rejoicing his championship success with his immediate family, Amendola, who had scored a double on the Saturday, said: "I am absolutely delighted that I finally won the MRF Challenge championship in

my third season. Last season, I finished fourth in the championship and in 2017, I was sixth. So, I was determined to win the title this time. Now that I have won it, I am looking at a few options, but all depends on budgets and sponsorship. Motor racing is not very popular in Belgium, but I am hopeful." The day began with Foster capitalising on a Turn-2 incident on Lap-1 that led to a brief Safety Car period, moving from third to first. Foster then hung on to finish ahead of Sundaramoorthy with Amendola in third place. Young's championship hopes virtually ended when he lost two spots to come in sixth. In the next race,

Sundaramoorthy, starting on pole on the reverse grid, was off to a good start and though he lost a bit going into Turn 10, he managed to hold off Jordanian Manaf Hijjawi for his second win of the season with Young trailing home in third place. "It feels great to win here in Chennai, virtually my home race! But I made it difficult for myself by making a couple of mistakes early in the race, especially when I went in too hot in Turn-10, went sideways and lost a bunch of space. I am absolutely delighted to score my second win this season after Dubai," said Sundaramoorthy who turned 17 on February 22. Young, starting from reverse grid pole, also won the day's last race untroubled,


Manaf Hijjawi in action

Dylan Young in action

MRF1600 class support race

comfortably nursing his early lead to chalk up his third win of the season. On Saturday, Amendola, notched a fine double while Jordanian

"There is still some work to be done on the car, we can be quicker, but we are halfway there. I did the Free Practice sessions on old tyres and also the rst part of the qualifying. After switching to new tyres, I went quicker and took pole position on my last ying lap of the session". Amendola

teenager Manaf Hijjawi scored the maiden single-seater win of his fledgling racing career as the MRF Challenge headed towards a grand climax. Amendola won the day's first and third races to take his tally of wins to five from 12 starts while 18-year old Hijjawi, in just his first full season in singleseaters, took the honours in Race-2 to provide a twist to the championship stakes. Going into the final day, Amendola led the table with 209 points, followed by Australian Dylan Young (175) who had two podiums on Saturday, Britain's Joshua Mason (160) and Hijjawi (130). The Belgian youngster won both his races on Saturday from lights to flag, starting from pole, and dominated to leave the pack chasing his shadow. In the day's first race, Amendola was off to a flier and after a couple of laps had none in his rearview mirrors.

Winner Amendola MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 11



Ameo races: Thane's Saurav Bandyopadhyay topped in the VW Ameo category in Race 1 while Anmol Singh Sahil of Ghaziabad won the Sunday's Race 2. In both the races, Anindith Reddy of Hyderabad came second while Dhruv Mohite of Kolhapur was third both the times. MRF 1600: However, Rangasamy made up for the loss in the ITC class by winning the first race of MRF 1600 followed by Vishnu Prasad of Chennai and Sohil Shah of Bengaluru in second and third

Arjun Balu reigns

supreme in ITC class with two wins Rithvik Thomas scores a double in Super Stock class; MRF 1600, Ameo class held as support races PHOTO BY: SRINIVASA KRISHNAN


elebrated motorsports driver Arjun Balu of Coimbatore, and Bengaluru's Rithvik Thomas notched a double each in the Indian Touring Cars and the Super Stock categories, respectively, to put their team Race Concepts of Bengaluru on top as the season started along with the last round of the MRF Challenge at Chennai in Februrary. Balu, like in Race-1 on Saturday, was simply unstoppable, though he started eighth on the combined reverse grid. Within two laps, he sliced his way past six cars and then passed pole-sitter D Vidyaprakash of Prime Racing and took the lead that kept stretching corner to corner. After the race Vidyaprakash was disqualified for an technical infringement. Veteran D


Vidyaprakash and Vishnu Prasad finished second and third in that order. Rithvik Wins: Balu's teammate from Bengaluru, Rithvik Thomas was placed first in the Super Stock class of the National Championship. He won both the races on Saturday and Sunday. While he clocked 20min,11.569sec on in Race 1 over 10 laps while he timed 24:13.207 over 12 laps in Race 2 on Sunday. Raghul Rangasamy was a distant second in both the races while Alisha Abdullah made it to the podium in both the races finishing third. It was Bala Prasath who took pole on Friday. Support Races: Both the MRF 1600 and Volkswagen class were held as support races. While VW ran Ameo cars as a last run and will be introducing turbo-charged polos for the National Championship from June.

The saloon car race had a combined 28-car grid of various categories, ITC, Super Stock and the support event Volkswagen Ameo Super Race.

Vidyaprakash in action

Arjun Balu winner ITC class

respectively. In Race 2 on Sunday, it was Prasad who won the race beating Rangasamy to second. Karthik Tharani of Chennai came third.


Imran Pasha wins PHOTO BY: SABIK


hree privateers were among the top five finishers of the Rally De Bengaluru 2019, the final round of the MRF MoGrip National 2Wheeler Rally Championship held at the Tribal Adventure Cafe in the outskirts of Bengaluru near Devanahalli recently. Fortysix riders, including two ladies, took part in the Round 6 with two stages of 8 kms each which were run thrice in forward direction cumulating to 168 kms including Liaison distance. Imran Pasha from TVS Racing riding a Apache RTR200 was the winner clockling a total time of 53:52.817. He also clocked fastest-stage timing on three occasions. Yuva Kumar, a privateer from Bengaluru, riding a Hero Impulse finished 14 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

second with a difference of nine seconds. Sachin D, also from TVS Racing, completed the podium a further 14 seconds behind. Ishan Chandra A, from Mangaluru, was fourth with two minutes deficit. A further 56 seconds later Vinay Prasad from Bengaluru came to take the fifth place. In Class 1, Yuva Kumar a privateer, astried a Hero Impulse, clocked 54:01.915 to win the class He dominated all the stages and clocked the fastest stage time. Nikhil B, also from Bengaluru, riding a Yamaha Crux was 3 minutes and 40 seconds behind to finish second. Santhosh Kour also from Bengaluru, riding a Royal Enfield, came third 18 minutes behind. In the Class 1A, Vishwas SD,

``I am happy to win the championship in the class. As this season for me began with a DNF, I had to work hard there and keep focussed. I nally managed to win by performing well in the remaining ve rallies and it feels good''. Imran Pasha, Overall Winner

the lone competitor riding a Yamaha 250, had to pull out after the fourth stage in the transport due to electrical issues. In Class 2, Rakesh Kumar V, a privateer from Bengaluru, astride a Yamaha YBX, won in 60 min 2 seconds. He was fastest in three out of the six stages. Ajin Abraham, from Kerala, riding a Yamaha YBX fell short by a minute and 44 seconds despite being fastest in two stages and settled for second position. Azeeb Muhammed, also a privateer, riding a Yamaha YBX with further 3min 40sec behind in third. Srikanth Modala, the championship leader from Chikkamagaluru, riding a Yamaha Fazer, has to be content with a fourth, a further


Yuva Kumar winner class 1

47 seconds behind to garner important points. Another 1min 8sec later Nitesh G, a privateer from Mangaluru, came in riding a Honda to take the ďŹ fth place. Ishan Chandra A won Class 3 clocking 56 minutes and 25 seconds. A privateer from Mangaluru, he was riding a Hero Impulse. Pavan Bk from Bengaluru, also on an Impulse was second position with a difference of 2 minutes 14 seconds. Francis PV, from Chikkamagaluru astride another Impulse, came third another 12 seconds behind. Arshad Ali and Chalass K Bose. both from Kerala. also riding Hero Impulse bikes, managed to complete in fourth and ďŹ fth positions respectively. Akshay Siddaramaiah from Bengaluru did not start. In Class 4, Imran Pasha from Mysuru representing TVS Racing and riding an Apache RTR 200 clocked a total time of 53min 53seconds to lead the class and he was also the fastest rider of the event. Teammate Sachin D, from Bengaluru, came second 32 seconds behind while another teammate Samuel

Pinkesh Thakkar Scooter class

Jacob who hogged limelight clocking 5 fastest stage times, ran out of luck in the very second stage of the day. His vehicle landed in a ditch and had to be pushed out by the villagers. He lost about 6 minutes in the process and settled for third. Adnan Ahmed from Mangaluru had to drop out in second stage after being the fastest in Stage 1. He too landed into a ditch and was unable to control the straight line speed after the hump.

Class 4 winners

Winners of class 3

Winners group photograph MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 15



from Chennai, Ryhana Bee, a privateer, came second 2min 8sec behind on an Apache RTR 150. Class 9, for the Local boys class had the highest number of entries of over ten. Vinay Prasad, a privateer riding a Hero Impulse, timed 57min 21sec to win followed by Ansar Mohamed from Bengaluru, riding a Hero Impulse, with a difference of 1min 18sec. Sanjay Somashekar, riding an Apache RTR 180 from Bengaluru, came 3rd 25seconds behind. Deepak Naidu and Shoeb Mohamed Khan occupied the fourth and fifth positions respectively.

Suhail Ahmed in Bullet class

Winners Scooter class

In Class 5, T Vijay Kumar, a privateer from Bengaluru, too 65 minutes and 23 seconds for his win. Uday Ganguli from Kolkata, also riding a KTM DUKE 390, had to settle for second 8min 22sec behind. Class 6, popularly known as Royal Enfield class, had six entries. Devraj V, from Bengaluru, clocked 58 minutes and a second to win the class while Arun Joy M, from Kerala, was second another 2minutes and 34seconds behind. Arvind Kumar Singh V came third, another 13min 45 seconds behind. Sumesh Reddiar from Bengaluru was in fourth position while Suhail Ahmed who had already sealed the 2019 championship dropped out in the fifth stage due to mechanical issues. Mohammed Zaheer also bowed out in fifth stage 16 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

with similar fate. Class 7, for scooters was wholly dominated by the TVS Racing riders. Syed Asif Ali riding a TVS NTORQ was fastest in three stages. He timed 61min 41sec to win followed by teammate Pinkesh Thakkar in second. Pinkesh took 22sec more time. A further 21sec behind teammate Shamim Khan came third. Amarendra Sate from Pune, a privateer riding Aprilia, was 4th with a difference of 5min 11sec. Abijith Shetty from Bengaluru, riding a TVS Wego, had to pull out due to mechanical issues in the fifth stage. Class 8 was the ladies class which showcased champion Aishwarya Pissay from TVS Racing on an Apache RTR200. She clocked 66min 6sec for a comfortable win. She was fastest in five stages. Another lady rider

Winners Ladies class



Yash Aradhya

wins prestigious award Becomes first motorsports star to win Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar Award


engaluru's Yash Aradhya became the first Indian motorsports star to win the prestigious Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar Award 2019 on January 22. Yash received the award in a grand ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan from Honorable President of India Shri. Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi. The 17-year-old, who has been scorching race tracks ever since he turned 9, has 13 championship wins, including over 65 podium finishes and 12 awards, to his credit. The Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puruskar is India's highest civilian honour bestowed upon exceptional students from various fields under the age of

18. Yash, along with the 49 other talented kids who have been hand-picked by an elite panel set up by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, also meet the Prime Minister before they took part in the Republic Day Parade on January 26. "I thank the Government of India for considering me worthy of this award and humbly accept it. It is a great honour to receive the award from the Honorable President of India and to meet the Honorable Prime Minister of India. I have been working really hard and after attaining considerable success at both international and national circuit, it really is very

"Never judge a book by its cover, is an old saying. This certainly applies to young Yash Aradhaya. If one had to observe his mannerisms when he rst stepped into a kids kart, one may not have thought he would raise up to the occasion to put himself in a position to be nominated for this prestigious award. " Akbar Ebrahim, Yash's mentor.

gratifying to be bestowed with this recognition," Yash said shortly after receiving the award. “While I have had my share of success on the grid in the past few years, this award will remain always special as this is not an achievement for me but for the whole fraternity. This award will inspire other young enthusiasts in motorsports and they will push themselves more as they now would know that their achievement will be recognised," he added. Coming from a humble background and no family history in motorsports, it has been a long and tough ride for Yash. He started his career in the JK Tyre National go-karting Championship eight years back, racing for Akbar Ebrahim's Meco Motorsports, and has steadily moved up, eventually making it to Formula Racing. MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 17


Philippos wins unrestricted 2wd 1650cc Class Dhruva claims unrestricted 2wd above-1651cc section PHOTO BY: SHREYAS REDDY / PRABHU KETHNUR


he Indian National Autocross Championship (INAC) finals were held on Day 1. The event ran in the anticlock wise direction with a total length of the track including both laps was 1.8kms. 2WD Stock Class: In Upto1650cc class, Karan Malik clocked 2:25.649 to win relegating BC Roopesh from Bengaluru to second position. Roopesh had a difference of 0.506 sec while Aftab Bunglowala from Indore, a further 0.284sec behind came third. Syed Salman Ahmed from Mysuru clocked 2:29.256 to 18 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

finish in fourth and fifth place was taken by Vidit Jain, another 0.344 sec behind. Prateek Dalal from Delhi was the winner of Above1651cc Class with a timing of 2min 25.856sec while Arnav Singh Pratap with a narrow margin of 0.057 had to settle for second position. Arjun Rao from Gurugram clocked 2:27.797 to finish third. Abhijeet Singh and Vishal Kataria finished in fourth and fifth position in that order. Abhijeet missed his podium by a mere 0.014 sec. 2WD Modified: In Upto1400cc Class, Aabhishek

Mishra from Delhi clocked 2:21.582 to dominate the class. Behind him, Ashad Pasha from Chikkamagaluru came second with a deficit of 2.067 seconds and with a

further difference of 2.030sec, Sahil Khanna completed the podium. Achintya Mehrotra from Delhi was fourth another 0.053sec behind followed

NATL AUTOCROSS by Philipos Matthai, also from Delhi, another half second behind, in fifth. Ashad Pasha won the Upto1650cc Class clocking 2:20.965 to beat Aabhishek Mishra, who timed 2:21.507. Jacob KJ from Kerala stood third with a deficit of 2.443 sec with the leader. Achintya Mehrotra lost his podium chance by a whishker of 0.044 sec. Ismail Khan clocked 2:28.631 to finish fifth. The Above-1651cc Class was bagged by Arjun Rao. He clocked 2:23.963 to push Dhruva Chandrashekar to second. Dhruva from Bengaluru clocked 2:26.978. Pramod Raman, also from Bengaluru, came third another 0.804sec behind. Arnav Singh Pratap clocked 2:29.580 to secure fourth followed by Bani Yadav from Gurugram in fifth with a further deficit of 0.698sec. Shivani Purthvi from Davangere had a lot of mechanical issues but clocked 2:36.588 to finish sixth. The Ladies Class was dominated by Bani Yadav, who clocked 2:32.189 and edged out Shivani Pruthvi, who came in 2:33.052 sec, losing by less than a second.

Sunita Chahar clocked 2:34.042 to complete the podium. Shivani Parmar and Pragathi Gowda finished in fourth and fifth positions respectively. 2WD Unrestricted: Phillippos Matthai from Delhi won the Upto-1650cc Class with a timing of 2:16.036 pipping Dhruva Chandrashekar to second. Dhruva lost by 0.806sec. Achintya Mehrotra, a further 0.456sec behind was third. Mazdayar Vatcha and Aabhishek Mishra, both were in the same second but missed the podium with a mere difference of 0.060sec and 0.105sec respectively. The Above-1651cc Class was won by Dhruva Chandrashekar. He clocked 2:20.746 to beat Saddam Shaikh by ease as Saddam timed 2:23.695 for his second position. Abhijeet Singh, a further 5.481sec behind finished third. Shivani Pruthvi came fourth six seconds later. 4WD SUV: Daksh Gill won in 2:21.263 followed by Prateek Dalal in second and Deepak Sachdeva in third. Vikramjit Singh Choudhary and Sanjay Agarwal finished in fourth and fifth respectively.



Yuvraj Singh Kondedeshmukh, the next champion in the making The Pune teenager thrills the audience on way to Best Rider of the meet PHOTO BY: PAKASH RAWAT

``Finally after two years of struggle, I managed to win the Championship. It makes me feel good for all the hardwork I put in. I thank all those who supported me''. Ikshan Shanbhag 2O AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020


uvraj Singh Kondedeshmukh dominated all the classes he participated in his home town event. He was adjusted as the best rider of the meet. The 44-years-old CD Jinan's energy level proves age is just not a number, as he loses his position in both the races due to same reason. Yuvraj Singh K from Pune, representing Ajmera Racing astride a KTM250 was at his best, and also gave the spectators a much-needed thrill, as his finish line jumps were worth being on the toes. He won both the Motos, to finish on top. Rugved Barguje from TVS Racing, on a TVS RTR, who dominated Round 5 had little option to reach the top. He finished in second position with a total of 32 points. His

teammate Jinan, also on a TVS RTR, with similar points settled for third. Mahesh VM from Thrissur, riding a Kawasaki, stood fourth with 24 points. Prithvi Dhillon from Chandigarh, also on a Kawasaki, with 23 points came fifth. Foreign Open Class In Moto 1, both the TVS Racing riders, Jinan and Barguje, got off to a good start ahead of Yuvraj, who was running in fourth. In the very second lap, Yuvraj made up his mind not to let go things on his home turf, as he climbed a position to third. Mahesh and Javid Shaikh, along with Joshua, meanwhile, were following them very closely. By the start of the 3rd lap, Jinan moved ahead and the battle between Rugved and

Yuvraj was in full swing, Javid, from Goa, lost out in third lap as he failed to control his bike after the jump and overshot past the d̀umb shot' and lost time. Meanwhile, similar struggle between Dhillon and Mahesh was going on as Dhillon was defending his position right from start. In the 5th lap, veteran rider Joshua from Bengaluru, had to pull out after a landing due to a severe hamstring pull, which forced him out of the races for the day. With only two more laps left, the 44-year-old Jinan had hardly any energy left to defend his position from the young and energetic Yuvraj, who rightly went past him in the seventh lap and there on built up a considerable amount of lead to cross the chequered


Yuvraj Singh Kondedeshmukh overall winner

Kalimohan M winner Novice class

flag first. Jinan managed to finish second while his teammate Rugved Barguje settled for third. Prithvi Dhillon held on to his fourth position till the finish as Mahesh VM finished in fifth position. In Moto2, Yuvraj got off to a good start. CD Jinan was just on his back in the initial stages, as Barguje was running third behind his teammate. Behind them, there was a good fight going on for the remaining three positions until the third lap. In the fourth lap, Yuvraj started to extend his lead while Mahesh closed his gap on Rugved. Jinan once again suffered due to failing fitness levels, as Rugved started taking charge and closed up on his teammate. In the sixth lap, Rugved went past JInan and with limited options left in two laps, he left no stone unturned to closed the gap on Yuvarj as much as possible but had to be content with the second position behind the winner Yuvraj. Jinan had to settle for third, nevertheless, an achievement at 44, while Mahesh finished fourth and Dhillon sixth. In Class 4 for Local boys, it was a much-deserving win

for the local boy Pinkesh Thakkar. Shivam Kamble got off to a good start but was never out of danger as he was regularly threatened by Pinkesh, who was sticking on to his neck. Shivam could hold on to his lead only till the second lap and had to give up in the next. Pinkesh went past him in the 3rd lap and Lokesh Bhosale who was consistent in third position but was also very close to Pinkesh and a couple of times failed to go past him. Retaining the leader position was never easy for Pinkesh in the fourth lap as Shivam took him on at the entry of the right hander and was unable to hold on. By the exit of the corner, Pinkesh regained his position. Later on, Shivam ran out of luck, as a skid proved too expensive for him and he was out of the podium race. Nikhil Kamthe and Prasad Ghorpade had gone past him too. Despite Lokesh narrowing on, Pinkesh kept the race under his control till the chequered flag for a deserved win. Lokesh settled for second and Nikhil Kamthe came third. Ghorpade and Shivam finished fourth and fifth, in that order.

CD Jinan 2nd runner-up Foreign class

Shlok Ghorpade 1st runner-up JR Sx2 class

Rugved Barguje 1st runner-up Foreign class MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 21


R Sabrish winner Private expert

Junior SX1 In Moto1, Yuvraj Kondedeshmukh of Ajmera Racing dominated the Moto right from the start and there was no looking back as he finished on top. But the exciting part of the race was the fight for second position between Sarthak Chavan from Pune and Ikshan Shanbhag from Satara. They remained in limelight all through while Yuvraj had extended his lead. The two were at their best to the sporting spirit. Sarthak was in command till the final lap as he managed to keep Ikshan behind him, but ran out of luck in the final lap after the double jump and as he was approaching the lefthander, his vehicle stalled, giving way to Ikshan to finish in second position. Shlok Ghorpade had to battle it out hard with Gaurang Naik till the penultimate lap to go past him and finish third. The 22 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

only girl on the grid, Tanika Shanbhag also from Satara, finished fifth behind Gaurang. Sarthak had to crawl back to 7th place. Moto2: Yuvraj won the second moto as well. He just kept on extending his lead till the end. Ikshan was behind him till the second lap. In a racing incident between Ikshan and Shlok both suffered drawback but Ikshan managed to continue while Shlok rejoined later. In this situation, Sarthak Chavan who was running fourth finished in second position. Gaurang Naik came third. Tanika Shanbhag stood fourth while brother Ikshan settled for fifth. In Class 2 single Moto, Kali Mohan M from TVS Racing won the race which was dominated by the TVS Racing riders. Kali dominated right from the start and was followed closely by his teammate Sachin D from Bengaluru.

The fight for the remaining places was between Sabrish R, Banteilang Jyrwa and Rajendra RE. Sachin crashed in the second lap and rejoined the race but not before Sabrish, Jyrwa and Rajendra had gone past him. A very close battle between Jyrwa and Rajendra ended up in the fourth lap as Rajendra was running third. Jywra slided further down as his

Sachin D winner Indian expert class

teammate Sachin overtook him. The battle for second position was heating up between Sabrish and Rajendra as their motorcycles came in contact at the right hander after a jump. Sabrish vehicle stalled and Rajendra was pushed out. And it was Sachin, who found the gap between the two to recover the ground after the fall in second lap. There on he held to finish in second position. Rajendra was quick to start and finished in third position. Jyrwa finished fourth as Sabrish had to kick start the vehicle and rejoin in fifth position. Class7: In the 5-lap Moto1, Prithvi Dhillon from Chandigarh riding a Kawasaki was in control of the race right from the start. At the start, Zabimulla from Goa was behind him but he lost his position in the second lap to Mahesh. There on, it was a continuous struggle for supremacy between Prithvi and Mahesh but the former was successful in containing Mahesh to a secondposition finish and he won the moto. Zabi finished a distinct third while Pravith P finished fourth. In the JR SX2: In Moto1,


Prithvi Dhillon winner class 7 Winners Local boys

Winners Indian expert class

Ikshan Shanbhag was the clear leader right from the start as he won the moto. He was followed by Shlok Ghorpade, also from Satara, in second place. Jinendra Sangave from Khalkaranji finished third. Akshat Hupale from Pune was fourth followed by Abhimanyu Bose in sixth. In Moto2, it was Ikshan on a roll again. He dominated the class and won comfortably. Shlok and Jinendra finished second and third respectively. Hupale was fourth and Bose came in fifth. Class 6, Private Expert: Sabrish R from Coimbatore won the race followed by Ankush Rao from Goa in second. Shivam Kamble from Pune was running second till the third lap but was unable to hold on the pressure from Ankush and had to give up in fourth lap. Thus, Kamble settled for third position. Pinkesh Thakkar, also from Pune, who was all along running

fourth from the second lap retained his position while Bhushen Bhosale from Kolhapur followed him in fifth. Class5, was wholly dominated by TVS Racing riders. Jyrwa got off to a good start till the second lap but saw repeated overtaking threats from his teammate Sachin, who finally succeeded in the third lap. Laer, Sachin extended his lead for a comfortable win. Imran who was running third till the fourth lap had to give up his fight as Rajendra RE overtook him. Rajendra, who started from fourth came upto second in the final lap. Jyrwa was unable to hold on to his second position, as he skid in the last corner of the last lap. And Rajendra to advantage to finish second. Imran Pasha completed the podium in third. Kali Mohan who never gave up despite having a fall in the second lap finished fourth. Jyrwa came fifth.

Winners Novice class

Winners Foreign bikes

Pinkesh Thakkar winner Local boys MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 23


Classic and Vintage Beauties For the first time, the Vintage and Classic Car & Bike Exhibition was held in Thane TEXT: S M BOOTHEM PHOTOS: VCCFI AND C.G.SUBRAMANIAN


he grand show was held at the Raymond's mill compound, Thane between 19th February to 23rd February 2020 giving Thaneites a wonderful opportunity to visit and witness the collection of automotive beauties including a rare collection of vintage and classic cars and bikes. It was a treat for all automotive lovers. The show was presented by Raymond in association with Thane Traffic Police, Vintage and Classic Car Federation of India (VCCFI)


and Western India Automobile Association (WIAA). WIAA is celebrating its 'Centenary Year' and have exhibited a grand show of rare vehicles - cars and bikes - of different era and years. Talking about the exhibition and the drive to Thane from South Mumbai, Mr Nitin Dossa Chairman, VCCCI said: "This exhibition was organised for the motorcar enthusiasts and residents of Thane, with a total of 50 vintage and classic cars and 50 vintage and classic

motorcycles and bikes. Thane was seeing a motor event as big as this one for the first time. The event's main theme to promote and spreading on the importance of road safety". Other cars like Rolls Royce, Bentley, Chrysler, Mercedes Benz, Alvis, Avon, Dodge, Buick, Cadillac, Morris, Ford, Fiat, Ambassador, Citreon, Avon, Maruti 800 Hudson and Motorbikes like Triumph, BSA, Harley Davidson, Royal Enfield, Vespa, Rajdoot, Honda, Yamaha and Chetak were

put on display. Lambretta Li 150 series 1 1958 previously owned by the late famous BKS Iyengar, the yoga guru was also one of the attractions. On Sunday, 23rd February, Mr Tiddo Bresters, President, FIVA flagged off the WIAA VCCCI Volkswagen Drive held for the first time from South Mumbai-WIAA to Raymond, Thane. The oldest Beetle in India participating belonged to Vivek Goenka. A number of colourful Volkswagen Beetles parked all around


“Thane was seeing a motor event as big as this one for the rst time. The event's main theme to promote and spreading on the importance of road safety". Mr Nitin Dossa Chairman, VCCCI

the Raymond mill compound after the Volkswagen drive attracted major crowd taking selfies. The 5 day exhibition concluded with a Volkswagen drive from WIAA in South Mumbai to Raymond's, Thane. The drive saw a Karmann Ghia, a rare Volkswagen belonging to Siddharth Khona. Dhananjay Badamikar drove down his Beetle from Pune to participate. The cars were escorted in a convoy by VCCCI Chairman, Nitin Dossa and Thane Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar in a Crysler Windsor belonging to Mr Nitin Dossa. 1933 Alvis Speed 25 displayed at the exhibition is a winner from Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and 1922 Ansaldo Tipo is a winner from the Cartier Concours D'Elegance, it won an award for Resurrection. This was a drive with a cause -Spreading Awareness on Road Safety. The Drive ended at Raymond Thane where Raymonds hosted VCCCI's Rare Vintage Cars & Bikes, classics and Indian Heritage. The exhibition was visited by a large number of people including school children and the admission was free. The last day of the show on Sunday, 23rd February attracted a major crowd of all ages. All of them were busy taking pictures and sharing them on social media.

Mr. Nitin Dossa interacting with kids MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 25


Assam's Arindam Saikia

reigns supreme on UDC debut


he western frontier town of Bikaner in Rajasthan recently witnessed two days of intense off-roading motorsport action. The occasion was the sixth edition of Ultimate Desert Challenge. Off-roaders from all across the country, including some coming all the way from Kerala and North-East, congregated in this dusty town for the annual desert off-roading extravaganza. The two-day event had 10 special stages varying between 1.3 kms to 7 kms as four special stages were held in Shivbari area of Bikaner district and two night stages in Raisar area. On Day 2, four special stages were held in unnamed wilderness, located on the route from Bikaner


town towards the Indo-Pak border. Arindam Saikia and codriver Jaideep Singh emerged as the champions of the UDC 2020. Defeating bigwigs like three-time UDC champion Kabir Waraich and co-driver Amber Udasi, two-time champ Raj Singh Rathore along with co-driver Rihen Bhardwaj, and former RFC India winner Gurmeet Virdi and co-driver Kunal Kashyap in a neck-ang-neck battle, Arindam and Jaideep scored a dominant 910 points out of 1000 to achieve this feat. This win is especially significant for Arindam, considering that it came in his maiden attempt at UDC, against a starstudded line-up of offroaders from all across the country. The duo were

driving a Polaris RZR. Arindam was closely followed by Chandigarh's Gurmeet Virdi and co-driver Kunal Kashyap of Team Gerrari Offroaders on second position, who lost the Numero Uno spot by a margin of just 4 points. Driving a Polaris RZR, Virdi scored 906 points out of 1000. Defending champion Kabir Waraich and co-driver Amber Udasi also from Team Gerrari Offroaders, clinched the third spot on the podium with 864 points. The pair from Rajasthan, Raj Singh Rathore and Rihen Bhardwaj missed the podium by just two points. With 688 points the pair of Deepam Prajapati and Vijay Kumar Verma finished fifth, as Gurpinder Singh and Sukhpal Singh with 666

points were in sixth position. Ritu Lakhanpal and codriver Birpal Singh Jattana emerged as the fastest women driver with 313 points. It is notable that all three overall podium holders were driving Polaris RZR. Polaris vehicles are purpose-built to tackle harsh terrains, especially the kinds on which UDC is held, and that gives these machines a defining advantage over other vehicles. Keeping that in mind, UDC has a tradition of announcing overall winners in the non-Polaris category as well. In the Gypsy upto 1350cc, Lokesh Yadav along with Rajeev Yadav, with 502 points were the winners


“ followed by Navdeep Singh and Gagandeep Gill with 458 points in second position. Maan Singh Saggu and Ravinder Singh Saggu with 433 points came third. Taranjeet Singh and Barinderjit Singh Saini with 398 points were fourth while Eric Benny and Vivek Gujral with 255 points were fifth. Modified Gypsy above 1350cc class, with an incredible display of patience helped Rajasthan's Gurpinder Singh and co-driver Sukhpal Singh for a win with 666 points. Yet another Maruti Gypsy driver Narayan Balan and co-driver Gopal Sharma also from Rajasthan, came overall second with a score of 644. The third spot was bagged by Devendra Singh along with his co-driver Vinay Bhatnagar with a cumulative score of 639. The pair of Ajay Kumar Rajotia and Varun Jolly with 300 points

were fourth. Karan Aukta with Sanjay Razdan with 228 points finished fifth. In the stock Thar category, Vinay Bhatnagar with Devendra Singh won scoring 639 points

“Keeping in line with the UDC traditions, the scheduling of special stages was planned in such a way that it was extremely tough and mentally daunting on the competitors. Despite all the toughness, this batch of competitors dealt with the pressure in a commendable way and came out victorious.” Arvind Balan

followed by Rahul Shailendra Singh and Rajesh Saini with 632 points in second. Amandeep Godara and Gursimranjit Singh with 548 points came third position. Japjyot Singh Dhingra and Darshinder Kohli with 533 points were fourth while Anjeer Khan and Rahguvir Singh Bhati with 466 points were fifth. SUV Stock upto 2800 class was bagged by Kapil Chaudhary and Ankuj Chauhan with 468 points. With a difference of 38 points, Neeraj Singh and Anshuman Bishnoi came second. Abhishek Adlakha and Harsh Singh with 392 points completed the podium. Kushagra Singh and Bijender Singh with 329 points finished fourth followed by Balkrishan Dadhich and Sarvajeet Singh in fifth. SUV above 2800cc Class was won by Inderpal Bishnoi and Ankit Yadav as they accumulated 574 points. Nitin Rathi and Nishanth Ahlawat with 518 points came second. Bablu Prasad Mishra and Kartik Sharma with 476 points settled for third followed by Satveer Singh Rathore and Yuvraj Singh with 423 points in fourth, and Himanshu Mishra and Kundan Ramawat in fifth.




Arnav Pratap Singh, Amanpreet Ahluwalia emerge winners Rahul Singh bags SUV Open class while Amandeep Kaur wins Ladies'


he Overall winner in 2-wheel category was Arnav Pratap Singh from Noida in a Maruti Brezza and Amanpreet Ahluwalia from Noida was the winner in the 4-wheel drive category in the Jaypore AutoX 2020 held in Jaipur Amusement and Resort recently. The twin track, measuring about 2-km was taken on by over 30 drivers on vehicles like Audi, Range Rover, Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endevour, Isuzu V cross, Mahindra Thar and Maruti Gypsy took about 200 runs to fight for the podium. Some d̀emo runs' were given by ace rally driver Raj Rathore for the 28 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

sponsors on his favourite Polaris 1000 Turbo. The two-wheel drive category was taken on first while the four-wheel drive was run post-lunch. Open Class: The SUV Class was bagged by Rahul Singh, who clocked 2:29.468 and Deepak Sachdeva with a difference of less than a second came second. A further 4 seconds behind Varun Jolly finished third. Rajesh Saini won the TharJeep Class clocking 2:35.002. Raja Chanay was second 11sec behind while Aryan Rathore finished third, a further 5 seconds behind. Sports Truck Class was bagged by Amit Sharma in 2:37.386 while Sarvajit Singh

took second in 2:46.195. Gaurav Dabi came third 5 seconds later. Mohil Kumar Malik won the Petrol Class by clocking 2:29.389 while Daksh Gill, was second, with a difference of two seconds. Rajesh Saini clocked 2:31.770 to complete the podium on third. Diesel Class winner was Rajesh Saini. Clocking 2:22.447 he beat Varun Jolly to second. Jolly timed 2:30.346. Arnav Pratap Singh with stood third two seconds behind. In the Women's Class, Amandeep Kaur won in 2:48.696 beating Lt Col Reena Jha, who clocked 3:10.227. Chhavi Mittal came

third 23 seconds later. The special Luxury class was bagged by Varun Jolly in 2:24.337. Just 21 seconds short was Deepak Sachdeva, who had to be content with a second place. Nitesh Shadija came third 31 seconds later. 2WD class Amateur Class: In upto 1400cc Class, Jatin Verma came first clocking 2:40.604 followed by Varun Singh in second and Himanshu in third. In the upto 3000cc Class, Haziq Hasan clocked 2:36,375 to grab the top slot while Himanshu was second. Jatin Verma stood third, coming in 11sec later. Pro Mod: The Upto-1400cc


Ladies class winners

Class was bagged by Mohit Kumar Malik in 2:29.174. Amit Sharma was second 8 seconds behind. Rajat Kadian was third with another 8 seconds deficit. Arnav Pratap Singh won clocking 2;24.111 followed by Sahil Khanna in second with 3 seconds difference. Amit Sharma was third in 2:37.914. Pro Stock: Harshvardhan Singh came first in 2:27.473 in the Upto 1400cc Class pipping Sahil Khanna to second by a mere 0.400 seconds. Jyotinder Singh Jubbal clocked 2:34.227 for third.

The Upto 3000cc Class belonged to Arnav Pratap Singh. He clocked 2:27.794 to beat Sandeep Singh to second as Sandeep fell short by 4 seconds. Sahil Khanna another 0.600 milli seconds late, came third. 4WD class Amateur: In the upto 1600cc Class, Jatin Verma won clocking 2:39.185 followed by Bharat Khaitan in second with a 17-second deficit. Rahul Singh clocked 2:43.071 to win the Upto 4000cc Class. Jatin Verma was second as he fell short by 0.393sec while Shafat

Winners of upto 4000cc class

Majid with a difference of 16 seconds finished third. Pro Mod: Jeevan Dadwal won the Upto 1400cc Class

by clocking 2:33.112 while Harshvardhan Singh came second, lagging by 3 seconds. Raja Singh Chanay, a three seconds short, managed third. Amanpreet Ahluwalia clocking 2:21.681 wonthe was Upto 4000cc Class beating Narayan Balan to second, as he came three seconds behind. Daksh Gill finished third slipping by 0.144 seconds. Pro stock: Vikramaditya Singh, the lone competitor in the class clocked 2:33.081 to come out winner in the Upto 1600cc Class. In Upto 4000cc Class, Varun Jolly won in 2:32.000 beating Deepak Sachdeva to second. Sachdeva timed 2:33.081. Rahul Shailendra Singh came third in 2:35.416. MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 29


Utsav de Hampi attracts huge response The popular fest, held Stage Rally and Autocross for two and four-wheelers and TSD Rally PHOTOS: SABIK


nitially, the Hampi rally was supposed to be the contender for the Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) 2020. Instead, it ran as an Utsav de Hampi, marking unique sequence of events like Stage Rally for two and four-wheelers, TSD Rally running parallel, and the final day being part of the Autocross for four-wheelers. And then since enough time was there, the event gave in to the riders' demand and also included a 2-wheeler event. Suhem Kabeer from Coorg dominated the first of its kind Utsav de Hampi held at 30 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

Hospet in Karnataka. Two stages compromising of 11 kms and 6 kms were part of the rally which were run four times twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday, all in the forward direction. Four-wheelers: Out of the eight stages to be run as per schedule, only five were made available for the cars. On Day 1, the final stage was cancelled as a bullock cart was spotted by the observer during the lunch hour. On Day 2, the final two stages were not run as the drivers took this call as there was significant timing difference between each

other which would not have been rectified unless there was a drop out. Suhem Kabeer from Coorg, along with Jeevarathinam from Bengaluru, driving a VW Polo won with a total time of 51 minutes, 32.292 seconds and the duo also set two fastest stage timings. Dhruva Chandrashekar from Bengaluru and Suhan Kabeer with a difference of 3 minutes 13 seconds settled for second position. The pair of Kariappa M from Coorg and Vinay PM driving a Maruti Gypsy finished third, 1min 40sec behind. Pragathi Gowda and

Deeksha BK from Bengaluru the lone lady team making their debut in rallying were fourth with a 40sec deficit. Dean Mascarenhas and Shruptha Padival from Mangaluru had to settle for fifth despite being the best with a timing of 50 minutes and 53 seconds. Their dream was shattered in the last minute due to Liaison penalty of 60 minutes. Similar was the case of Chetan Shivram and Dilip Sharan from Bengaluru, as their car stalled just before the final stage finish. In the INRC2 upto 2050cc category, Suhem Kabeer and Jeevarathinam were the

RALLY winners followed by Dhruva Chandrashekar and Suhan Kabeer in second. Dean Mascarenhas and Shruptha Padival with a liaison penalty managed to finish third. The pair of Ritesh M Guttedar and Lokaranjan had to pull out from Stage 2 on Day 1, due to electrical issues and rejoined and Day 2. First timers, Pragathi Gowda and Deeksha, the only lady team clocked 57minutes and 7seconds to win the INRC3 class. They were followed by Salman Ahmed and Rishabh BK from Mysuru in second and Chandan KM and Suraj M from Bengaluru in third. Both Salman and Chandan pulled out on Day 1 due to mechanical issues and rejoined on Day 2. Pragathi G and Deeksha were also the winners of the Junior INRC class. The sole competitors in the class, Kariappa M and Vinay PM were the SUV Class winners. 2-Wheelers: The 2w rally consisted of 8 stages. Nikhil B from Bengaluru, riding a Yamaha 250, with a total time of 82min, 10seconds was the Overall winner beating experienced Vishwas SD from Bengaluru, on a Yamaha WR2. Vishwas lost the top sport by 17 seconds. Jeevan G, from Hassan, riding a KTM 450 was third a further 56 seconds behind as he also got a Liaison penalty of one minute. MD Ansar from Bengaluru was on an Impulse as he took the fourth spot while Sinan Frances, riding a Himalayan, finished fifth. In Class 1 upto 130cc, Rakesh Kumar riding a Yamaha YBX from Bengaluru won beating Noldin Thomas from Kochi,

who was on a Yamaha YBX. Noldin trailed by in second by over 3 minutes. In 131 to 165cc Class, the podium was bagged by riders from Bengaluru riding a Hero Impulse. MD Ansar was the winner followed by Vinay Prasad in second with a difference of 2 minutes and 33 seconds. Durgesh J, finished third, a further 1 minute, 52 seconds behind. In 166 to 250cc Class, G Raju from Bengaluru, riding an Xpulse won clocking 2min, 9sec beating Syed Towhid to second. Vijay Kumar from Bengaluru, riding a Duke 390, won the 251 to 400cc class. Prabhu from Kochi, riding a KTM Duke 390 , did not finish. In Group A upto 800cc Class, Nikhil B, riding a Yamaha 250 from Bengaluru, was the winner followed by Vishwas SD in second position. Jeevan G finished third. Yuva Kumar riding an Impulse from Bengaluru had a bad day suffering a flat tyre twice in stages. In the Bullet class, Sinan Francis from Kochi beat Md Zaheer to win the class. Riding a Himalayan, Zaheer from Bengaluru had to be content with a second losing by just 3 seconds. Mithun from Kochi, riding a Classic 500, did not finish. Scooter Class was bagged by Pune's Pinkesh Thakkar on an Aprila SR125. Joseph Jinu from Kochi, riding a TVS Ntorq, finished second 28 seconds behind. Amarendar Sathe, riding a Aprila SR125, from Pune settled for third 1min 59seconds behind. The ladies open was bagged by Arpita, from Mangaluru, astride an Impulse.

INRC3 winners

Overall winners

INRC2 winners

2Wheeler winners MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 31


Suhem Kabeer excels in Hampi Autocross Kariappa from Coorg bags Hampi Open; Pragathi Gowda wins Ladies' Class PHOTOS: SABIK


uhem Kabeer excelled in the Utsav de Hampi Autocross event held on the outskirts of Hospet. He also clocked the fastest timing of 1min 28sec to be declared as the fastest driver of the day. The closeto-1.5-km track was with many chicanes and sharp corners, where the drivers were drifting, giving a firsttime thrill to the local crowd. The jump at the finish was the highlight of the event. 32 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

INAC2: In the Open Class, Suhem Kabeer from Coorg clocked 1:28.00 to win the race defeating Dean Mascarenhas, from Mangaluru. Dean clocked 1:29.65 for the second place while Syed Salman, from Mysuru, just fell short by 0.04 seconds to settle for third. Dhruv Chandrashekar and Ritesh M Guttedar finished in fourth and fifth positions respectively. Upto 1400cc class, Asad

Pasha clocked 1:42.22 to win the class followed by Praveen in second position as he timed 1:44.41. Manjunath from Hospet, clocked 1:47.19 to secure third while Suresh Kumar finished fourth. Suhem Kabeer clocked 1:28.41 in the Upto 1650cc Class for a great victory. Chethan Shivram from Bengaluru was second in 1:30.19. Dhruva Chandrashekar, also from

Bengaluru, stood third timing 1:30.87. Dean and Guttedar were fourth and fifth respectively. Upto 2000cc Class was won by Suhem Kabeer in 1;28.22. Chethan Shivram was second timing 1:30.19, less than 2 seconds late. Dhruv Chandrashekar completed the podium clocking 1:30.78. Dean and Guttedar finished in that order in fourth and fifth. In INAC 1 Open Class,


Mr. Parth from JSW the main sponsor of the event addressing the media

Salman from Mysuru in action

Dean Mascarenhas in action

Suhem Kabeer won clocking 1:30.47 beating Dean Mascarenhas to second. Dean timed 1:31.75. Syed Salman came third in 1:31.75. Guttedar ďŹ nished fourth while Chandan Gowda from Bengaluru held the ďŹ fth position. Hampi Open was bagged by Kariappa from Coorg by clocking 1:41.00. In the Ladies Open Class, Pragathi Gowda clocked 1:38.88 to win the class followed by Pallavi Yadav in second as she clocked 1:50.20. In the Pro-Stock Class, Asad Pasha from Chikkamagaluru clocked 1:41.63 for a deserved win. Suhan Kabeer from Coorg came second in 1:44.40. Pallavi Yadav from Kolhapur completed the podium in third with a time of 1:52.87.

Dhruva Chandrashekar

In the Amateur Stock Class, Suhan Kabeer was the winner clocking 1:44.40. The Stock Class was bagged by Asad Pasha who clocked 1:41.63. Suhan Kabeer was second in 1:44.40 7sec late

while Pallavi Yadav settled for third. In the Novice Class, Sidharth Singh from Hospet was the winner clocking 1:46.44 while Manjunath came second in 1:54.21.

The SUV Class belonged to Chandan Gowda from Chikkamagaluru. He clocked 1:42.16 to beat Kariappa from Coorg who posted a time of 1:37.19 for his second position.

Chetan Shivram taking on right hander MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 33



Anil Abbas, Sini Anil win Jasmeet Kaur, Aparna Pathak bring their Hyundai i10 home in second place PHOTO BY: MANJUNATH K & SABIK


nil Abbas and Sini Anil, driving an Isuzu Mux, won the rally with a total penalty of 12min 30 seconds. Jasmeet Kaur and Aparna Pathak,


driving a Hyundai i10, were second with a 36min 36sec difference over the winner. The pair of Appu Karthikeyan and Velmurugan, driving a

Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, clocked a penalty difference of over 48 min, 43 seconds on the winner. Sheena Sabharwal and Trupti Gupta, driving a Mahindra Scorpio, came 4th a further 6min 39sec behind. The pair of Janardhan and S Lingaraju, driving a Maruti Suzuki Dzire, had another 1hr 25min, 5sec deďŹ cit as they settled for ďŹ fth. During Leg 1, the 150-km rally with 22 Time Controls, was dominated by Anil and Sini with just a penalty of 2min 17sec. Velmurugan and Appu were running second at that stage as Aparna and Jasmeet were trailing in third position

after that leg. During Leg 2, the 200-km stage including a 50-km night stage, had 25 TCs and the night had 4 TCs. Once again Anil and Sini were on top as Sheena and Trupti came to second in penalty points. Velmurugan consumed heavy penalty and slided downwards from the second place. Leg 3 with over 180-km stage distance and 14 TCs was in the menu which was once again dominated by Anil and Sini. Sheena and Trupti improved a lot but were unable to move up. Aparna and Jasmeet with a 5min 5sec penalty looked comfortable and settled for third.


BODA annual off-road adventure provides enough thrills 80 vehicles take part on two different trails PHOTO BY: MANJUNATH K


he 2020 edition of the BODA annual offroad adventure took place in the neighbouring district of the Karnataka's capital city, on Bengaluru's outskirts. Close to 80 vehicles from different make took part in the event. Two different trails were set. One for the SUVs and the other had two tracks. While the SUV were on their own, the remaining


70 were split into two, taking on a different trail one after the other. Thus, the off-road event known for the dry and dusty run, also took on rocky surface. After breakfast and brieďŹ ng, the convoy headed for a 25km trail. First, the convoy had a ditch to clear, which was very tricky and a few vehicles had to be winched. As too many ďŹ rst timers were part of the drive,

marshalls had to put in a lot of their efforts to guide the event run smoothly. But the route was tailor-made for them, with no dangerous drops and they could drive fearlessly. They had to pass through a narrow path, which was also a bit steep and very rough with a tilt of about 30 degrees and a bit more in certain places. There on, the vehicles regrouped batch

wise and then moved on. A kilometre down the trail was a very steep climb of over 200 metres and the mid-track was muddy, which made it more challenging. Once a few vehicles passed and as some had to spin, the path became more hectic to clear. But a few gave a slip and took on the alternate round to reach to the end of the climb.



Full throttle to the top

Taking on the 200mts climb

Loose soil climb

After further travelling for about 2 kms, it was very soft and the right track for offroading. There on it was a dip, followed by a 50-m steep climb with very smooth mud. Marshalls ensured a smooth run by guiding the convoy and giving them gear option to take on. A majority managed to clear it, but a few had to be winched out. By then the convoy started to roll down the hill and

head towards the approach of the longest and steepest climb of the trail. As this was taken, just like the previous year, the time and manpower required to clear the obstacle, became well known. The organisers decided to give a lunch break and regroup. Taking on this obstacle was a major challenge as each and every vehicle had to be winched. The climb consisted of about 300 metres which had a twist on the track from about 100m from the start, where one had to take a sharp right further up and due to too much loose soil with small bushes, they had to adopt a two-stage winching process. Winch-mounted vehicles were used to pull out the vehicles while humidity was the spoilsport which extracted a lot of energy from the participants. Once the obstacle was cleared, getting down was very slippery as the grass was dry on the path. But once the vehicles came down, they were supposed to travel for another one km to reach another hill, which had many more such obstacles and it went on till late evening.

Raising from the pit midway MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 37


Wayanad Jeepers bag the fifth edition of 'Club Challenge' BODA comes second with R&T Off-road Club third


he two-day event had six obstacles in the menu while the seventh had to be cancelled for lack of time on the final day. The Day 1 stages were run after sunset and the four stages on Day 2 were run in daylight. Fourteen teams from across India were part of the fifth edition of the Mahindra Adventure Club Challenge at Bengaluru competing for the off-roading honours in February last week.

Team BODA in action

Overall winners Wayanad Jeepers 38 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

“The competition level and vehicle preperation standards are going up dayby-day and it becomes more challenging for us to give a related track, upgrading becomes very important, which we are always upto." Vinod Nookala of Mahindra Adventure

Day 1: Another iconic obstacle 'Pass the Baton', witnessed all classes of vehicles run a relay format of driving and pass the baton from one vehicle to another, tackling the obstacles and then crossing the finish line. Straps of God was the toughest. At the end of Day 1, Waynad Jeepers were on top accumulating about 244 points and with a total points of 224 BODA from Bengaluru were trailing in second position while R&T Off-roaders with a further deficit of nine points were running third. Verge Racing with 165 points were fourth another 13 points behind and Verge Racing were fifth. The first stage was dominated


R&T off-roaders in the Demolition Derby stage

points of 99 each. In the 2nd stage, Wayanad Jeepers consolidated their position garnering highest points at 80. BODA gained 70 points to extend their lead and KTM Jeepers got the third highest points at 60. R&T and Flywheel were entitled for equal points at 50 each. Punjab Off-roaders Club and NIOC got equal number of 68 points. BODA secured 66 points to reach the second spot. KASC and Wayanad drew equal points of 65 each.

Day 2:

First runner-up team BODA

by Motorsports Club of Meghalaya who bagged 108 points. R&T were

behind them with a mere one-point difference, Verge and Wayanad had equal

In the very first stage, there was a race, as two jeeps had to take a start at a time on a loosened soil and slush that was created at a few points from start to finish. Wayanad scored 50 points and extended their lead over BODA who scored 36 points. R&T with 30 points climbed up the order. Punjab Offroaders got the fourth highest points at 24. Extreme Offroaders gained 20 points.

Tug of War was the second stage of the day as two set of vehicles from each side were tied to similar set-up from the other team and had to prove their strength by pulling the other, both in running condition and grab the flags, which were three in numbers. KASC and Flywheel were the major gainers with 40 points each but were unable to climb up the order. BODA gained 30 points, but Wayanad with 20 was still on the top. Extreme offroaders also gained 20 points in this stage. The final stage of the day began post lunch. The signature obstacle 'Demolition Derby', continued to be a part of this year's challenge as the off-road vehicles negotiated a path over scrapped vehicles. The main vehicle, out of the three had to run over the trolley and then on to a tanker, passing over a container and heading down on a school van before taking a left over a few cars to the finish. This stage had three flags to be removed. While two were on the way down, the third was on the rear-end and one had to take reverse and pick the flag, and then head to the finish, all within 15 minutes. Wayanad jeepers with 68 points topped the score but had to shoulder 30 penalty points. NIOC with 59 points were able to level their score with Verge Racing who scored 48 points for the fourth position. BODA with 56 points retained their second position but had to lose the slot by mere six points. R&T offroaders after gaining 22 points settled for third position.



Harith Noah completes Dakar Experience class in maiden attempt Sherco Sherco TVS TVS Rally Rally Factory Factory Team Team ends ends Dakar Dakar on on aa fantastic fantastic note note th with with Adrien Adrien Metge Metge taking taking aa creditable creditable placing placing inin 12 12th overall overall TEXT: DAVID BODAPATI


herco TVS Rally Factory Team ended its Dakar run on a fantastic note even as Indian rider and Dakar debutante Harith Noah completed the Dakar Rally, albeit in a lesser Dakar Experience class for those who have not finished a stage, as the Keralite finished the 12th and final stage in a noteworthy 27th place as the 42nd Dakar Rally which was held for the first time in Saudi Arabia came to a conclusion at Haradh in January. The Sherco TVS rookie was forced to switch on to

Adrien Metge 4O AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

the Dakar Experience category, a new class which was introduced this year to allow those who have not completed a stage to rejoin the rally and finish the experience. Noah replaced KP Arvind, the second Indian who completed the Dakar Rally in 2019, as he had to pull out due to an injury. Thus, Noah made his debut, but could not start Stage 3 as his bike did not start due to some technical issue. However, he did much beyond expectations and completed the Dakar Rally in D̀akar Experience' category, rejoining the

rally from Stage 4. Sherco TVS' French rider Adrien Metge finished in seventh place in the final stage and completed 12th overall, thanks to extremely consistent performance throughout the rally. The rider stepped for injured brother Michael Metge at the last minute and was the lone competitor in the team still eligible for an overall ranking. But, making history was Ricky Brabec of Monster Energy Honda Team who claimed the title at the 2020 Dakar Rally, also claiming Honda's first

Lorenzo Santolino

Dakar win since 1989. The victory also managed to break KTM's undisputed run at Dakar with 18 consecutive victories for the team. Commenting on the team's achievement, B. Selvaraj, Team Manager, TVS Racing said: "Dakar Rally in its core element puts to test the most basic yet important skills of a rider. This time around, the setting in Saudi Arabia and overall ride routes were new to the riders, making it tougher and bigger than before. I would like to congratulate each of our riders for the


camaraderie that they demonstrated through the Rally. Adrien put his experience into apt use which reflected in his steady performance chart from the start till the end, thereby helping him finish at a remarkable ranking. I would also like to congratulate Harith for his outstanding performance in his first Dakar Rally experience. Despite not being eligible for general ranking, Harith completed every stage at notable ranks. While Lorenzo and Johnny couldn't continue their Rally due to injuries, I would like to extend our heartfelt

gratitude for their performance during the Dakar Rally 2020." Harith Noah said: "I can definitely say that these were the longest and hardest two weeks. I can't say that I completed the Rally, however, I did complete every stage but one, under Dakar Experience Class, so it's definitely something good to take home. I had a great experience despite not knowing what to expect or what not to expect, which also provided me with some great leaning every day. I made a navigation mistake and had a bad crash during

Harith Noah

"Dakar Rally in its core element puts to test the most basic yet important skills of a rider. I would like to congratulate each of our riders for the camaraderie that they demonstrated through the Rally.” B Selvaraj, Team Manager TVS Racing

Stage 1 which was a big learning in itself. I rode better from then on, and will be much better prepared for next year." Earlier in Jeddah, the Sherco TVS Rally Factory Team began their Dakar 2020 journey with a ceremonial flag on Jan 4. This is the sixth consecutive participation of the team in the iconic Dakar Rally. This year, the team has 4 riders – Johnny Aubert (France), Adrien Metge (France), Harith Noah (India), and Lorenzo Santolino (Spain). Michael Metge unfortunately did not participate in the Rally due to an injury.

Johnny Aubert MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 41



CS Santosh loses chance to finish Dakar CS Santosh was the only Hero MotoSports Team Rally rider in the running for an overall rank, with the Indian rider placed 35th overall CS Santosh in action TEXT: DAVID BODAPATI


ero MotoSports Team Rally pulled out of Dakar Rally 2020 midway due to the tragic demise of its team member Paulo Goncalves. "The entire Hero MotoSports Team is in deep mourning after the tragic demise of our rider Paulo Goncalves on Sunday. With immense respect for our departed teammate, Hero MotoSports will not continue its participation at the Dakar Rally 2020. The other riders, along with the team management and support staff, will join the grieving family of Paulo," said a Hero release. Gonçalves suffered a crash 276km into the stage and by the time medical personnel reached him, he was already unconscious after going into cardiac arrest. The 40-year-old was then flown to Layla Hospital, where he was unfortunately pronounced dead. Following the incident, a decision was made to cancel Monday's Stage 8 for bikes and quads. Having made his Dakar debut in 2006, Gonçalves 42 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

was a standard fixture in the iconic event. He'd finished in the top 10 four times, including being runner-up in 2015. After spending a number of years racing for Honda, he moved to Hero MotoSports in April 2019 to race alongside his brotherin-law Joaquim Rodrigues, and went on to secure some strong results for the Indian team at the 2019 Silk Way Rally and Rally of Morocco. Prior to withdrawing from the 2020 Dakar Rally, Hero MotoSports only had CS Santosh in the running for an overall rank, with the Indian rider placed 35th overall. However, with the team's decision the Indian missed a chance to complete the Dakar Rally one more time. Santosh was the first Indian to complete the Dakar Rally. Rodrigues and Sebastian Bühler were running under the newly-introduced Dakar Experience class after retiring on Stage 1 and 6 respectively. Since making its Dakar debut in 2017, the team had previously enjoyed a strong run at the event, finishing in the top



Sandip-Prakash win North-East TSD Rally

SK Ajgar-Mustafa pair loses top spot via toss after a tie


nti-CAA protests across North-East region put Sandip Mukhrejee and Prakash Muthusamy on the top after a tie was resolved via toss and the pair of SK Ajgar Ali and Mohammed Mustafa had to be content with second, as the rally was cut short from two days to one. The team of Sandip Mukherjee and Prakash Muthusamy from Erode won the National category

in the third edition of Northeast TSD Rally, as they shared an equal penalty of 2min 8sec. Decided by spin of the coin, SK Ajgar Ali from Kolkata and Mohammed Mustafa from Erode were declared second. With a difference of 6 seconds the pair of Subir Roy and Nirav Mehta, both from Kolkata, settled for third position. Santosh Kumar V and Ravi Kumar BM from Bengaluru stood fourth with a total penalty

of 3min 36sec came in fifth. Rohit Kashyap and Chirag Thakur, a further 4sec behind finished after the top-5. In Northeast Category, Joydev Purkayastha and Shankul Mazumdar were the winners with a penalty of 28min 32sec. Saurav Mahanta and Sanjay Rao with a difference of over 13min stood second while the pair of Binod Sanganeria and Siddharth Agarwal were third. Vishal Kr Chouhan and

Manish Kumar Jain, another 8min behind came fourth. Jasmeet Kaur and Jyothi Ayengar were crowned the champions in Women's category as they beat Gitika Pant and Neena Jain to second while Aparna Pathak and Lalita Gowda came third. The rally, which was flagged off from Khanapara Ganesh Mandir Stadium passed through some difficult roads before concluding at Borgos Resort in Kaziranga.



Jamie, Shaurya win IndiKarting Clash of Karts Shaurya, Rahul win season-end titles; Veer Sheth gets Akshay Patil Memorial Trophy


amie Shaw and Shaurya Kapani, both from Mumbai, dominated the proceedings in the Pro-Senior and Junior categories, at the Ajmera IndiKarting Clash of Karts, near Mumbai recently. The event attracted a huge response of 650 registrations translating into 204 entries from across the country. The culmination of the 3 round, Clash of Pros Season 2 saw Rahul Deshpande win the ProSenior Class while Shaurya 44 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

Kapani won the Pro-Junior Category. Qualifying on pole in the Pro-Senior, Jamie Shaw got off to an excellent start. He pulled away to win Race 1 comfortably. Rahul Deshpande was second, just ahead of Danesh Banajee. Race 2 start order was based on all the results of Race 1 being reversed. Jah Wadia started on pole and held the lead for a while. Jamie Shaw, however, proved to be in excellent form as he made his way

through the entire ďŹ eld and managed to take his second consecutive victory, once again ahead of Rahul and Danesh. In Race 3, starting from P3, Danesh made a good start from P3, to move ahead of Rahul. He soon overtook Jamie to take the lead. Rahul then moved upto 2nd and, he and Danesh were nose-to-tail for close to 20 laps. Danesh drove an excellent defensive race and won Race 3, followed by Rahul and Jamie.

Raiden Samervel grabbed pole by a mere 5-hundreths of a second in the ProJunior Cclass, ahead of Veer Sheth. He went on to win Race 1, ahead of Shaurya Kapani and Veer, who ďŹ nished second and third respectively. The reverse grid Race 2, saw Shaurya notch an excellent victory ahead of Nirvaan Chandna and Hoshmand Elavia. Race 3 saw Veer Sheth make his way up from P3 to win ahead of Shaurya and Raiden.


"It has been a fantastic event with so many newcomers trying the sport for the rst time." Rayomand Banajee.

Ayan Jussawalla (DPYA High School) triumphed in the InterSchool Category followed by Advaith Jampa (Tridha School) in second and Aditya Patnaik (Delhi Public School) in third. Sasvat Jain (Indian School of Design and Innovation) took top honours in the Inter-

Sawan Sathyanarayan from Bengaluru won the Open and Amateur categories. Mumbai lads Ojas Surve and Sasvat Jain followed him in the Open category while Chandan Hegde and Ojas were second and third, respectively, in the Amateur Category.

College category. Tej Patel (Podar International School) came second ahead of Raghav Vaishnav (Jai Hind College) in third. Chintan Shah (Deltron Electricals) won the Corporate Category beating Mark Shaw (Shawman Software) to second while Aashwath Chowta (Afwah Media Consultants) came third. Isha Sharma from Belgaum was the winner of the Women's category while Aashi Hanspal and Maariyah Sheikh finished in that order behind her. Jamie Shaw beat Aman Singh Bhui and Kiran Pardeshi to second and third in the Veteran category. Sawan S finished won with Chintan Shah and Prashant Sonpar taking the other two places on the podium in that order in the Master category. Raghav Vaishnav triumphed in the Senior-Plus category defeating Paarth Damani to second and Adil Shah to third. Fahad Kutty won the ProSenior-Plus category ahead of Mihir Patel and Raghav Vaishnav. Members of the media also participated in a special category. Gaurav Davare of ZigWheels won beating Saurabh Gamare (Exhibit Magazine) to second. Rajesh Dsouza of Zee TV was third. The event was also the culmination of the 2nd season of the 3-round Clash of Pros. Rahul Deshpande was the overall winner of the Pro-Senior category with a total of 63 points ahead of Jamie Shaw with 54 points. Danesh Banajee, despite missing the 2nd round due to a rib injury came third with 52 points. Shaurya Kapani was the overall winner in the Pro-Junior with 28 points. He was followed by Veer Sheth on 61 points while Raiden Samervel with 51 points came third. The prestigious Akshay Patil Memorial Trophy was awarded to Veer Sheth. MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 45


Karan Malik claims overall title Double for Achintya Mehrotra, Arnav Pratap Singh


aran Malik, driving a Porsche 718 Cayman, claimed the Overall title in the X-Factor Auto Cross held at the Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, recently. The first Auto Cross in India to be run on the Formula 1 circuit attracted 59 entries cumulating to 249 runs across all the classes, in which about 11 women including five first-timers took part. Among the amateurs also, there were 25 first-timers. In the Overall category, Karan Malik, driving a Porsche 718 Cayman, claimed the title with a time


of 01:07.127 while Achintya Mehrotra, driving a modified Suzuki Swift, finished second clocking 01.08.981. Shrivatsa Somany, also behind the wheels of Porsche 718 Cayman, completed the podium timing 01:09.429 in the final shootout. Vidit Jain, who also qualified for the final shootout of top four overall drivers, missed out on the final run due to a technical problem with his Porsche Cayman S. INAC 1, the unrestricted class, was bagged by Achintya Mehrotra who clocking 1:08.532. Tanmay Agarwal stood second

falling behind by four seconds and Sahil Khanna clocking 1:13.464 came third. In INAC 2, Modified class

upto 1400cc class, Achintya Mehrotra won by clocking 1:11.096 even as Karan Malik with a six seconds deficit took second place.


Upto 1400cc class winners Ladies class winners

Vidit Jain clocked 1:27.618 to complete the podium in third. The Àbove 1440 to 1650cc Class' belonged to Ravdeep Singh Saini. He won by clocking 1:16.295 and Anamdeep Singh Bajaj came second in 1:27.870. Amav Pratap Singh won the Over-1650cc Class by clocking 1:16.762 while Shray Dewan timing 1:19.457 stood second. INAC 3 Pro-Stock Class: In the upto 1650cc Class, Vinam Jain clocked 1:18.184 to win the class followed by Diana Pundole in second. Pundole clocked 1:18.709. Jyotinder Singh Jubbal settled for third clocking 1:21.396. Arnav Pratap Singh picked up his second winner's trophy of the day

by winning the Àbove 1650 up to 3000 cc Class' as he timed 1:17.357. Nakul Mendiratta was second in 1:17.518. Waris Jain fell short by a fraction of a second, a milli second in 0.205 to settled for third position. In the Àbove 3000 cc Class', newcomer to auto cross, Srivatsa Somany with a time of 1:08.225 delivered a stunning performance to post the winning time. He also recorded the fastest time of the day of 1:05.260 driving a Porsche 911 GT2RS. Karan Malik with a deficit of just below a second settled for second position. Vidit Jain clocked 1;11.990 to settle for third. INAC 4, Amateur Stock: In the up to 1400cc Class,

Paras Khanna took the top honours clocking 1:30.040 beating Pravan Sharma to second as he had a deficit of just over a second. Sanjay Sharma came third. Divya Nandan clocked 1:22.069 to dominate the class while Deveshwar Sharma with a difference of over three

seconds was second. Vaibhav Arora clocked 1:25.272 to complete the podium. In the Over 1650cc Class, Superbike racer Imtiaz Baktoo won the class by clocking 1:15.988, Harshit Gupta, a further three seconds away, was second. Deveshwar Sharma clocked 1:19.161 to finish third. Diana Pundole won the Ladies Class in a time of 1:19.720. Shivani Parmar with a difference of over two seconds came second while Amandeep Kaur a further fraction of second behind was third. There was an impressive line-up of performance cars such as Porsche Cayman S and 718, Porsche GT2RS, Jaguar XKR, Volvo V40 D3, BMW 530D, 530i and 330i, Mini Cooper, Audi A6 and Range Rover Evoque that took part in the event. MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 47


Sachin Best Rider

Sachin winner comp no. 40

Suhem Kabir adjudged Fastest Driver PHOTO BY: KALYAN SUNDARASHVARAN


he two-day Rev Runners autocross event on the outskirts of Bengaluru was dominated by Sachin D from Bengaluru in twowheelers section and Suhem Kabir from Coorg in four-wheelers class. The 800-m plus track, had a few tricky turns, fast corners and two jumps.

Two Wheelers: Sachin was declared as the best rider with a best performance among three classes of four-stroke, Indian Open and Expert class. The Indian Open Class had about 18 laps. Amal 48 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

Vargese from Kerala dominated the race right from the start. Depite threatened a couple of times by Sachin, he never gave up and in the final stage of the race, moved towards the comfortable zone and won the Class. Sachin had to settle for second while Imran Pasha from Mysuru, tried to pose some challenge on a couple of times but gave up midway due to shoulder pain after he hit a rut on a right hander. Imran Pasha won the 13-lap Expert class as he had to defend himself from from Sachin D who was on his neck till the final lap. Sachin

settled for second followed by Amal Verghese in third. But Amal Verghese, made it up winning the Club Class, defended his position from Sachin D, who finished in second and Imran Pasha came third. In the Bullet Class, Md Zaheer got off to a good start and held on to it, till the end and won without any hiccups. Sharath Kumar, also from Bengaluru, stood second followed by Dhanush in third. Darshan won the Scooter Class with a comfortable lead followed by Mani in second while Karthik stood third. In the Moto 2, Subramanya was the winner

followed by Ninganna in second and Thair in third. In the 2-stroke Class, Moshin Sheikh won beating Sherif to second while Arif stood third. The Four-stroke Class belonged to Sachin D followed by Imran Pasha in second and Amal Vergese stood third. Imran Pasha also won the Moped Class with Shabaz Khan and Ambumani taking the podium in that order.

"I am very delighted to win the Best-rider tag, as this was due to me for many years. Nice to hold it for the first time," said a delighted Sachin D


Roopesh BC in action

Four wheelers: In a very tight-and-close contest Suhem Kabir was adjusted as the fastest driver of the day. Roopesh BC ran out of luck as it started getting darker and dusty by the day. Dhruva Chandreshekar from Bengaluru won the Indian open class by clocking 2:28.510. Dean Mascarnehas came second, a fraction of a second behind, a deficit of 400th of a second. Roopesh, a further 300th of a second behind, stood third. Roopesh BC won the Unrestricted class in 1:12.792 while Dhruva clocked 1:14.126 to finish second. Dean, with a 400th second difference, completed the podium in third.

RRRC Open class was bagged by Suhem Kabir by clocking 2:25.616. Roopesh just fell short by 100th of a second and settled for second position. Dhruva, another two seconds behind, stood third. In Upto 2000cc Class, Suhem Kabir came first and Dhruva finished second with Dean following him on third. Kariappa won the SUV Class by clocking 1:21.273. Suchindra was second, 6 seconds behind while Rahul, with a further 16 seconds deficit, came third. Keerthan clocked 2:37.323 to win the Novice Class followed by Somanna in second position and Mohan Raj in third. Upto 800cc Class belonged

to Prakash who clocked 2:46.040. Mohin Pasha stood second followed by Abinav in third. The 800 to 1100cc Class was bagged by Vishal Tiwari as he timed 2:42.082 while Prakash came in second and Pruthvik was third. In the 1100 to 1400cc Class, Ismail won in 2:38.007 beating Rupesh to second and Mohan Raj to third. The ladies class was bagged by Priyanka as she clocked 3:11.560

Imran comp no. 72, Sachin best rider comp no. 40

Scooter class action

Dhruva Chandrashekar in action

Suhem Kabeer best driver in action MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 49


Prateek Dalal, Pragathi Gowda share honours Budh Circuit hosts National Gymkhana Championship


rateek Dalal and Pragathi Gowda shared honours in the final round of the National Gymkhana Championship held at the BIC, Greater Noida, recently. Prateek won the men's class while Pragathi who made her debut in the Championship came out with flying colours to win the top slot. In the men's class, Prateek Dalal won with a time of 56:461 followed by Sahil Khanna in second with a time of 57:514. Karan Malik clocked 57:651 to finish third. Arjun Rao with a total 5O AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

time of 58:340 which included a cone penalty of two seconds stood fourth while Ashad Pasha with a flat time of 59 seconds settled for fifth position. In the overall Ladies' class, Pragathi Gowda with a timing of 72:217 including two seconds penalty was the winner as she edged past Jhanvi Bhavsar who had to be content with a second position as she lost by a narrow margin of 0.017 millisecond. Amandeep Kaur clocked 74:767 to take third place with an additional two seconds

penalty. Khyati Mody clocked 69:381 without penalty, as she was entitled

for 120 seconds penalty, but could only get to finish in fourth position.

Gymkhana Ladies class Champion Pragathi Gowda


Autocross action

Babaljeet fastest in Autocross: In Autocross, Babaljeet Singh clocked 101.952 to be declared the fastest driver in men's class. In the women's category, the crown was bagged by Kshama Yadav who clocked 112.952. Yash Sinha was the fastest in the Amateur class while under-25 year Young Star Drivers class was bagged by Samin Gupta with a time of 103.523. 4WD class: In Open class, Amanpreet Ahluwalia came ďŹ rst clocking 94.785. Varun Jolly with a difference of over four seconds came second while Pankaj Dutt ďŹ nished third in 102.055. In the Pro-stock Open class, Varun Jolly clocked 99.759 to win the class beating Sunita Chahar to second position with a narrow margin of 0.114 second. Rajesh Saini came third a further 7 seconds behind. Amateur Pro-stock Open class belonged to Shantanu Grover. He clocked 112.453 to beat Praduman Pratap

Singh to second. Singh was six seconds behind him. Varun Singh clocked 119.671 to settle for third position. 2WD class: In Open class, Achintya Mehrotra clocked 84.910 to top the class followed in second position by Tanmay Agarwal with a difference of 4 seconds. Ashad Pasha a further 2 seconds behind took third spot. In the Ladies Pro-stock Open, Sunita Chahar clocked 100.655 to win the class. Shivani Parmar came second position with a difference of four seconds while Amandeep Kaur clocked 107.374 to complete the podium. In Pro-stock Open class, Bharat Yadav topped with a time of 91.919 followed by Sahil Khanna in second position in 91.422. Vishal Kataria with a further difference of over 4 seconds stood third. In Amateur Pro-stock Open class, Shashvat Somany won

by clocking 92.028 followed by Udaiveer Singla in second with a time of

102.294. Varun Singh settled for third position a second behind.

Autocross ladies class winners

Gymkhana Prateek Dalal mens class Champion in center MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 51


Amateur class lineup

Nanjundappa, Meghana claim honours N PHOTO BY: PRASHANTH SUKUMARAN

anjundappa and Meghana K starred in the fifth edition of 2go BMF held at the Avathi Hills on the outskirts of Bengaluru adjacent to Nandi hills. It was a huge turnout from across the country for the four different categories. Maximum entries were received for the Trail run of 10km and 21kms. About 150 participants were part of the cross-country cycling for elite class, amateur and kid's class. The MTB downhill had over 20 participants and the Adventure race had 40 participants.


While the track was built to match the International standards, many elite Indian cyclists and runners took part in this event as part of their international race training due to the standards BMF has set. The trail running course was a 10-km loop with elevation gain of 250 metres. The cross-country cycling course was of 4.1-km loop with technical descent, climbs and jumps. Amateur category did 5 laps of 4.1km, kids did 2 laps and elite riders ran 7 laps of 4.1km. Men: In the 21-km class, Nanjundappa by clocking

1:21.27 was the winner followed by Lakshmana, who came second with a difference of over 8 seconds. Sanjay Negi was third, less than two seconds behind. Abhi Vajra and Michael Allensapch stood in fourth and fifth positions respectively. In the 10-km class, Manjunath Desai clocked 40:03 to win the class. Rahul Shukla came second another 23 seconds behind while Chandan Kumar was third, with a further 84seconds deficit. Jagdish TM and Devaraj finished in that that order. XC Amateur class was

bagged by Ananya clocking 1:10.53 beating Yuvraj to second by 1min 56sec. Samran finished behind them. Tejasvi clocked 1:18.13 to win the XC Elite class. Vyshak settled for second 154 seconds behind him and Kamal Raj clocked 1:21.48 to finish third. Vittal and Bheema were fourth and fifth respectively. In the Under-14 class, Huditya Umesh finished in second position with a timing of 17:07. Dhanush with a mere one-second deficit stood third. Savion Sabu finished fifth.In Under-10 years class,


Winners group photograph

Artificially created jump

and Vineeta clocked 1:46.55 to complete the podium. In the Under-10 Class,

Nithila Das clocked 26.02 to finish the class in second position.

Amateur Winner Ananya in action

Abinav G won clocking 11:35. Anupa Sekhar came second 45 seconds behind while Nandan Das came third, a further 36 seconds later. Aarush and Ishaan stood fourth and fifth respectively. The Downhill section was bagged by Gautam Taode as he clocked 1:31.33. Vinay Menon clocked 1:53.47 to take second place. Pradyumna timed 1:54.33 to finish fourth as Hemesh MK came fifth in 2:08.27. Women: Meghana K won the 21-km class clocking 2:04.30. Aakriti Sanjeev Verma came second in

2:09.21 while Shubhangi Bhadola timed 2:12.57 to complete the podium. Salini K Biswal and Dr. Nehaa Narayanan finished in fourth and fifth positions respectively. The 10-km class was won by Sanjeevini who clocked 1:06.19 pushing Vidya (1:06.54) to second. Pragya Sharma, a further two seconds behind came third. Dipannita Panda and VijayaShree finished fourth and fifth in that order. In XC Amateur Class, Joysna won in 1:17.42 defeating Shreya to second as she came 1min 37sec behind

downhill on rocky surface

Under 14 boys lineup MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 53


Under 18 Peloton in the Criterium class

Kamalraj sets

fastest lap time in both the stages PHOTO BY: DEEPTHI INDUKURI


he 7th edition of the MVS Cycling Carnival featured over 650 cyclists from across the country. The two-day carnival began with the MVS Enduro held near the Coimbatore Golf club in Chettipalayam followed by the MVS Criterium which was held at the Kari Motor Speedway the next day. This edition of the carnival had a wider range of categories from U6 to veterans. Thirteen races were held back to back for the criterium. Race categories were: U 18 boys, U14 boys and girls, U12 boys and girls, U10 boys, U10 girls, Amateur women, U6 boys and girls, U8 boys, U 8girls, MixedRelay Race, Amateur men, Masters and Veterans Men and 54 AUTO TRACK MARCH / APRIL 2020

Elite. The MVS Enduro, had four race categories: Women's, Masters, Amateur and Women, along with prizes for the fastest stages.

Crtierium Boys: In the under18 class, Pranaav VL came out as the winner beating Akash KG while Azeem Shah came third. Samarpan Jain won the Under14 Class while Abhishek S Nair and Febian Royce stood in that order. The Under-12 Class was bagged by Dhanush Prashanth as he defeated Nanda Kishore to second position while Mithesh Ramsan Mukesh finished third. Niranjan Devarajan won the Under-10 Class followed by Abinav Gopalsamy in second position and Ishvar Arjun in

"We witnessed an exciting race and we are looking forward to continue our long association with MVS towards promoting the sport in India." Jaymin Shah, Country Head, Scott Sports India.

third. Under-8 years Class, was won by Yaash Logesh. Krithik V was second and Pradhyay Premanth secured third. Sai Charan was the winner of the Under-6 Class followed by Viehan Krishna in second and Sevvel Kirthik Saravanan in third. In the Amateur Class, Damodar Mudhirai secured the stop slot followed by Sarossh Mundroinna in second and Ananth P finished third. Nigel Smith won the Masters Class. Daljit Singh came second and Rony Pulikkodan stood third.

Girls: Pooja Swetha was the winner of Under-14 Class followed by Kathiyayini T in second and Zanjana Prakash in third. The Under-12 Class was


Mixed Relay race winners

Under14 Girls winners

Enduro class women winners

Elite class winners

Elite class winner Sreenath Lakshmikant celebrates

won by Thabitha S while Jai Jyotshna Ashok and Sethulakshmi Vettiyadan Biju finsihed second and third respectively behind her. Smrithi Kumaresan proved to be the best in the Under-10 Class. Varsha Dinesh came second and Jaanavi J Gore was third. Anisha won the Under-8 Class followed by M Ashwika in second and Diya Roohottil in third. In the Under-6 Class, Vedika Menon won brushing aside Thakisha SM to second while Anya Anbuchelvan settled for third. Amateur class was bagged by Ginimol Joseph while Dhanyatha stood second and Sujaa Sree settled for third position. The Masters Women Class was bagged by Priya Ponnambalam.

Veterans: This class for men had participation of upto 69 years old participants. Leju KD won the class followed by Manoharan V in second and Joseph S had to settle for third. Rebekka Poffley won the women Veteran category. In the Mixed Relay, Premnath and Priya Ponnambalam were the winners. Shagzil Khan and Shereen Khan came second and Karthik and Seetha were third.

Enduro: The Elite Class was bagged by Kamalraj N followed by Yadhun J in second and Charith Gowda in third place. The Amateur Class belonged to Zeeshan, as Sirjit completed in second and Dharsin finished third. Vijayram won the Masters class followed by Venu Ramesh Kumar in second position and Usha Kannan finished third. Joysna Narzary won the Enduro Women's category. Minimal Joseph finished second while Karen Marshall finished third. Kamalraj received the fastest lap times for both the Farm Stage and the Fairway Stage. Amateur Men’s Peloton

Enduro class action




JATMA (Japan ) delegation visits ATMA Safety Zone at Auto Expo



midst unveiling of new concepts and vehicles at the recently concluded Auto Expo, a Tyre Safety Zone set up by Automotive Tyre Manufacturers' Association (ATMA) made its presence felt amongst visitors to Asia's biggest motor show. Set up on the theme "Play your PARRT, Be Tyre Smart", the tyre safety zone


engaged the audience in gripping games woven around the theme of Tyre safety. PARRT is an acronym for Pressure, Alignment, Repair, Rotation and Tread. Sensitizing motorists on these ďŹ ve points is central to all tyre safety drives, states ATMA. Indian Tyre Technical Advisory Committee (ITTAC) the

technical wing of ATMA led the initiative. "ATMA has been spreading tyre safety for quite some time through tyre clinics and direct interface with motorists. This time, we integrated the concept of Tyre safety with few entertaining games and animated quizzes so as to spread the message in an entertaining format especially relevant for the

youth", said V K Misra, Chairman ITTAC. Be it Basketball, Carrom or Dice, games were customized to sensitise visitors on ďŹ ve aspects of tyre safety. An animated tyre quiz on a large screen was another attraction that drew visitors in large numbers. "The added advantage for creating awareness at Auto Expo is


the fact that visitors are mentally receptive to learn more about cars, new automotive concepts and technologies. Tyre safety fits naturally in that mind space", said Rajiv Budhraja, Director General ATMA. Significantly, a delegation from The Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association (JATMA) led by Kenji Kurata, Executive Director, JATMA visited the Tyre Safety Zone set up by ATMA/ ITTAC at the Auto Expo and took keen interest in the tyre safety activities being undertaken. "In an ever-evolving global economy and fast paced developments in technology, regulations / legislations,

innovations, etc. especially in the Auto and Tyre sectors, it is imperative that Industries of India and Japan collaborate and work together towards addressing common issues/challenges", said Mr. Kenji Kurata. ATMA has maintained a continuous dialogue with its Japanese counterpart JATMA. In the last four years, there have been as many delegation level meetings between ATMA and JATMA in both the countries. The interactions address key global issues/challenges related to the Tyre sector and also provide a good opportunity to understand the Tyre sectors in the two countries. Automotive Tyre Manufacturers

“ "We integrated the concept of Tyre Safety with few entertaining games and animated quizzes so as to spread the message in an entertaining format especially relevant for the youth this time at the Auto Expo" V K Misra, Chairman ITTAC.

JATMA (Japan ) delegation visits ATMA Safety Zone at Auto Expo

Association (ATMA) is amongst the most active National industry bodies in India representing Rs 63000 crore (US$9 bn) automotive tyre industry. Eleven large tyre companies comprising mix of Indian and International tyre majors and representing over 90% of production of tyres in India are members of the Association. ATMA members which have been participating in Tyre Safety campaigns include Apollo Tyres, Birla Tyres, Bridgestone India, CEAT, Continental India, Goodyear India, JK Tyre & Industries, Michelin, MRF, TVS Tyres and Yokohama. MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 57




wedish luxury car maker Volvo has been present in India since 2007 and currently market products through its dealerships across the country. Globally, car makers are shifting to petrol from diesel. "The XC40 T4 R-Design is our first petrol offering in the entry-level SUV segment. XC40 is the first ever luxury car to win the 'Premium Car Award 2019 by ICOTY'. It also won the 'European Car of the Year 2018'. We are conscious of the customer's preferences in features and made this entry level variant fully loaded." said Charles Frump - Managing Director, Volvo Car India at the launch. Volvo Cars are well


known globally for its top notch safety features. The XC40 is the only car in its segment to have radar based active safety features like city safety with steering assist, active at speeds up to 50 km, it avoids collision from other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The XC series has always been the company's best sellers in both domestic and the global markets. They contribute 60 per cent of volumes in India. The company recently showcased its electric vehicle XC40 Recharge in the global markets and will be available in 2021 and for Indian markets in early 2022. Talking about electric vehicles (EVs) in India, the

company officials say, there is a shift to electrification happening globally. If the range is good, lot of people will not have problem to shift to EVs. In the global markets, Volvo Cars have set a new, sixth consecutive global sales record in 2019, breaking the 700,000 cars sold mark for the first time in its 93-year history. The company recorded sales of 705,452 cars in 2019, an increase of 9.8 per cent compared to 2018. In India where luxury market size is only 37000 with five main players -Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo with their respective market share. Currently,

Mercedes Benz is a leader in the luxury segment. Volvo Cars are planning to launch S60 in 2020. With its new XC40 and upcoming S60, Volvo is all set to further increase its market share.

VOLVO XC40 Launched in the year 2018 in its diesel avatar, the XC40 was Volvo's first vehicle to be based on its Compact Modular Architecture platform or CMA as its popularly known. But now with the BS VI emission norms in place, Volvo decided to discontinue the diesel model and replace it with a fresh petrol variant in the mid spec R-Design trim.

DRIVE The XC40 battles it out in the compact SUV space with the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and the Mercedes GLA as its main rivals. The XC40 is a very urban themed car that is available in a stylish dual tone paint scheme. Upright and angular, the XC40 has a very purposeful persona. It also gets a neatly crafted side profile, while the boomerang style tail lamps add to its flamboyance. Besides the signature Thor's Hammer LED headlights and the XC-family tail lights, the XC40 doesn't carry much of the design language of its bigger siblings. It measures 4425mm in length, 1863mm in width and 1652mm in height. It gets a 2702mm wheelbase and a healthy ground clearance of 211mm. As compared to its rivals, the XC40 is the tallest of the lot which adds to its visual appeal. Inside the cabin, the entire layout, fit and finish, and quality of materials used is impressive. Currently the car is offered with all black interiors which looks

sophisticated but a dual tone theme would have looked charming. The 9-inch vertical touchscreen complemented with vertical aircon vents stand out. It also gets a 14 speaker Harman Kardon audio setup which sounds brilliant. The front seats offer excellent comfort and support and come equipped with electric adjustments while the driver seat gets memory function too. Rear seat comfort is equally good, but underthigh support could have been slightly better. While headroom and knee room is sufficient, seating 3 adults in comfort seems difficult.

Overall, the cabin is not only luxurious with adequate use of leather, soft touch materials and piano black inserts but equally practical with thoughtfully designed storage spaces. Like all other Volvos, the XC40 is loaded with a long equipment list like dual zone climate control, front & rear proximity sensors and park assist pilot, electric tailgate, wireless charging, panoramic sunroof, a 12.3inch digital instrument cluster, frameless IRVM, etc. On the safety front it gets 7 airbags, ABS with EBD, hill ascent control, hill descent control, brake assist and

other high tech radar based safety features which are first-in-segment. The XC40 also has a five star Global NCAP rating. Surprisingly what it misses put upon are heated seats and head-up display which is becoming increasingly popular these days. The 460 litre boot space is more than adequate and gobbles up luggage effortlessly. The BS VI petrol XC40 comes with a 2 liter, 4 cylinder T4 petrol engine that develops 190hp & 300Nm of peak torque. It is mated to an 8 speed automatic gearbox. The engine and gearbox while being highly refined are not exactly an auto enthusiast's delight. The same holds true for suspension set-up also. The XC40 is suited for matured driving habits and if you are thinking of sinful speeds and maneuvers, then this car won't bring a smile on your face. The engine has a linear power delivery but don't mistake it to be slow by any comparison. The car is quick to reach a ton and happily cruises at triple digit speeds without breaking a sweat. It's just that the throttle response is slightly relaxed and the gear upshifts and downshifts are not very quick. However, the XC40 offers a choice of 5 driving modes that tweak the throttle response and gear ratios for a better driving experience. Braking too is confidence inspiring and sure footed. As mentioned earlier, the XC40 is more oriented towards urban pleasures, luxury and comfort. At INR 39.90 lakh (ex-showroom), Volvo is offering an excellent package in terms of looks, features, safety and comfort. MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 59




s established automakers in India are shaping their business models to explore the new electrified world of mass and personal transportation, Tata motors has speared ahead to introduce, not one but two Electric Vehicles in the last 12 months. Electric mobility and Compact SUVs are the leading trends in automotive scenario and Tata Motors has played its cards smartly by offering us a compact SUV that is electric. Yes, here we talk about Tata's latest offering in the EV space – The Nexon EV.


The Nexon EV is identical to its face-lifted petrol and diesel cousins. Its gets a neatly redesigned front end which includes sharper headlamps, a new grille and chiseled bumper. The side profile remains the same except for the tweaked alloy wheel design which looks more sophisticated now. At the rear it gets a new tail lamp cluster and a revised bumper. What differentiates the Nexon EV from its ICE siblings are the electric blue tri-arrow pattern and blue inserts which are seen in abundance on the exterior and interior of the car. The cabin too feels like a

familiar place to be in. However, the quality levels have gone up significantly in every aspect. Be it the flat bottom steering, the multicoloured dashboard or the fabric on the seats; Tata Motors has raised the quality in every area that your eyes can see or your hands can feel in the Nexon EV. The updated instrument cluster displays a plethora of information like charge level, range, battery regeneration graphics, etc. The Nexon EV is packed with goodies like a Harman sourced audio set-up, 7inch touchscreen, sun-roof,

leatherette seats, automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, automatic climate control, leather wrapped multi-function steering wheel, keyless entry, pushbutton start, etc. On the safety front it gets dual airbags, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake distribution and cornering stability control, hill descent and hill assist control and it also complies with the latest crash regulations. The EV also comes with the company's new ZConnect application which offers 35 advanced connected car features like monitoring of the current charge levels,

NEXON EV DRIVE available range, charging history, nearest charging stations, etc. Owners can also send remote commands to their Nexon EV through the ZConnect mobile app, controlling function like - car lock/unlock, light and horn activation, or even switch on the AC with the remote cooling function. The app also has a location sharing feature where you can share your live location with select persons of your choice. On the security front, the car can instantly transmit notifications in the event of an unfortunate crash or in panic or emergency situations. It also has provision for remote immobilization of vehicle, geo-fencing, etc. The owner can also monitor and analyze driving pattern and get a driving scorecard at the end of each trip. Dimensionally, the Nexon EV is identical to its Petrol and Diesel cousins and there is no compromise in the cabin space or bootspace either. But being an electric, it has no exhaust pipe, no fuel tank, no spark plug and no emissions either. What is does have is a large battery pack combined with a powerful motor. The 30.2 kWh battery pack is placed underneath the floor of the

vehicle thereby resulting into better driving dynamics in the car. The suspension of the Nexon EV has been tweaked to bear the additional weight of the battery pack. On a full charge the battery offers a claimed mileage of 312 kms. However, this may fluctuate in real world conditions due to varying traffic situations. At any given point, the Nexon EV puts out 245 Nm of torque and is fast enough to reach a ton in under 10 seconds. The battery can be charge from 20 per cent to 100 per cent in 60 minutes by using a fast charger while a home based charger will do the same in 8 hours. Tata is offering an 8 year/ 1.60 lakh km warranty on the battery. Driving the Nexon EV is not only easy but very exciting too. Being an automatic it gets 2 driving modes on the rotary dial. The regular Drive mode should suffice in dayto-day city driving while the Sport mode can be engaged for a more spirited drive. In the Sport mode, the car feels very aggressive and impatient to munch up the miles, thanks to the additional torque pushed out by the motor. As mentioned earlier it can do 0-100 kmph in under 10 seconds. Even at beastly speeds, the Nexon EV feels well balanced and the

equally powerful brakes do a great job in bringing the car to a quick halt even at triple digit speeds. Industry experts agree that there are peculiar challenges and obstacles in the race to electrification of vehicles but it is equally true that the future of transportation is electric and battery powered cars are here to stay in spite of a checkered past. In today's world where EV prices have dropped to affordable levels, driving range has increased substantially and charging time has lessened substantially, electric mobility seems a more practical choice in urban markets. Pressure from regulators over emission norms and generous government subsidies are few other reasons to consider EVs positively. If you are looking for a compact city car that plugs-in and is high on performance, technology, comfort and safety, then at a starting price of INR 13.00 lakh, the Nexon EV is a definitely a good buy.


s established automakers in India are shaping their business models to explore the new electrified world of mass and personal fter tasting success with transportation, Tata motors Nexon, the compact has speared ahead suv, to Tata Motors is now introduce, notoffering one butitstwo electric version (ev) to customers. Electric Vehicles in the last Nexon was launched in mobility 12first months. Electric September 2017 in bothSUVs petrol and Compact areand the diesel variants and was one leading trends in of the bestselling models which helped boost its market share. Within 22 months of its launch, the company also rolled out its 100,000th car from its Ranjangaon plant in July 2019 and is now selling about 4,000 units a month. "Nexon was the first product that we thought would be suitable for ev," says Shailesh Chandra, president, electric mobility business & corporate strategy, Tata Motors, commenting on Nexon ev. The reason we chose the Nexon was that it was a successful car for us and it met the price expectations of electric vehicles, where we could give a decent range and price to customers. We had conducted research in terms of current barriers on evs and how we overcome all these issues. We have taken several parameters into consideration – such as the customer travelling 20-30 km a day and charging the vehicle once a week," explains Chandra. The Nexon EV was tested for more than 100,000 km in all climatic conditions across India. On the safety front, it follows the regulations of the Global ncap, fivestar safety rating in the crash test, making Nexon one of the safest cars. The other players currently in the evspace are Mahindra & Mahindra, Hyundai and mgMotor. With a strong response and advance bookings to MG Motors' second product, the ZS EV SUV in five cities clearly shows that customers are willing to change, if the product is good. With competitive pricing and connected car features, the Nexon EV looks like the promising product and is expected to continue its 'success story' forward.







rose is the world's fourth-largest family-owned automotive supplier. The company develops and produces mechatronic systems for vehicle doors and seats as well as electric motors, drives and electronics, among others for steering, brakes, transmissions and engine cooling. Approximately 26,000 employees at 64 locations in 24 countries generate turnover of 6.2 billion euros. Worldwide, every second new vehicle is equipped with at least one Brose product. Brose started its Indian operations in 2006 and has been growing ever since. Today 480 employees develop and produce window regulators, side door latches, door modules and seat height adjusters in Hinjewadi, Pune for domestic and global car manufacturers. Brose's local


IT service center also supports global business. Automotive supplier Brose ofďŹ cially opened its new campus in Hinjewadi, Pune on 25 February 2020, with guests from government and industry in attendance. The location, which has a footprint of around 175,000 square feet, is home to480 employees. Brose is investing3.2 million euros in a new headquarters building, development and IT center as well as the manufacturing plant. "This investment is not only a commitment to the Indian market; it is also a strategic move for the Brose Group. To improve competitiveness and efďŹ ciency we are further expanding the global engineering and IT service center in Pune and shortening the paths between development and manufacturing. Speed is a

success factor for our company. The market trends in the global automotive business rely on extremely fast and consequent results,"emphasizes Ulrich Schrickel, CEO Brose Group. The company's goal is to enhance more of its products with sensor technology and software solutions. This will enable the automotive supplier to create completely new mobility experiences and more incentives to buy. "With our competence in the integration of electronics, sensor technology and software into intelligent products Brose is actively shaping the future of mobility," adds Schrickel. This is why the supplier must expand its software expertise. In the last year alone, the family-owned

company hired 100 experts in digital development, embedded software and IT in Pune. "The current plan is to grow to around 500 employees in total. They will work on cost-effective products for the domestic market and also support other Brose locations in these areas," summarizes Vasanth Kamath, President Brose India. The company plans to develop twice as fast as the domestic market with an average growth rate of 20 percent per year until 2025. "Today we can proudly call ourselves the only supplier of door modules in India. However, our long-term goal is to deliver the entire Brose product portfolio of door systems, seat structures and electric drives to the Indian market," added Kamath. The new manufacturing building alone is three times larger than the previous facility.



TOYOTA's NEW VELLFIRE Masakazu Yoshimura, Managing Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, "Today marks an important day in our journey in India, as we add another milestone product to our lineup of electrified vehicles. The New Vellfire truly encapsulates Toyota's class defining technology, comfort, elegance and sustainability that ultimately offers an excellent driving experience for the customers. Globally, we have a caravan of luxury offerings, and the launch of Toyota Vellfire in India marks a significant moment in our journey. The Vellfire is an icon of ultimate luxury whilst envisaging a greener future. Today's announcement is a significant step in our mid-to-long-term plan to achieve Zero CO2 challenge. We will continue to work for mass electrification thus moving towards the goal of sustainable mobility". Talking about the latest offering from TKM, Mr. Naveen Soni, Sr. Vice President, Toyota

“Along the lines, our latest offering New Toyota Vellre too embodies our commitment of offering, EverBetter Cars with Ever-Better Technology for an Ever-Better Environment". Mr Vikram Kirloskar- Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor


oyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) launches the illustrious Toyota Vellfire, the new luxurious selfcharging hybrid electric vehicle in India. The luxurious and spacious interiors of the new Vellfire boasts of opulence, while the majestic and fearless exterior is thoughtfully curated to leave a lasting impression. "The automotive industry in India is undergoing a profound technology-driven transformation with innovation and creativity defining the overall customer experience. As industry leaders, it is imperative for us to challenge ourselves and provide customers with new breakthroughs that not only promises magnificence and comfort, but also contributes to the well-being of the ecosystem", said Mr. Vikram Kirloskar- Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor at the launch. Sharing views on the launch of the New Vellfire in India, Mr.

Kirloskar Motor said, "The Toyota Vellfire offers a perfect blend of superior craftsmanship and comfort while delivering a phenomenal fuel efficiency with its Self-Charging Hybrid Electric Technology. Our new offering truly encapsulates Toyota's class defining technology, comfort, elegance and sustainability and it gives us immense pleasure to bring such a renowned vehicle to India. Over the years, we have introduced several segment leading products and we would like to thank our valued customers for their loyalty throughout our journey and we hope that they will extend their appreciation to this new product also. Today, as we drive home the New Vellfire we are certain of setting new standards in performance, capability and sustainability. So far customer feedback has been encouraging, we are happy to inform that first 3 months of shipment has been sold out." MARCH / APRIL 2020 AUTO TRACK 63



BOSCH SOLUTIONS FOR FUTURE MOBILITY agnostic approach. With a customer focused approach, we actively support the Government's initiatives towards the auto sector with an India first objective."


osch recently showcases a range of personalized connected solutions to transform the future of mobility. Bosch's comprehensive portfolio of future-ready mobility products and services are in line with the market demand for advanced safety features and BS VI compliant vehicles. To ensure a smooth transition from BS IV to BS VI engines, Bosch meticulously collaborates with OEMs and end customers to develop innovative and intelligent future-ready mobility solutions. Backed by its global IT expertise and technical know-how in the mobility space, Bosch aims to usher a new era of automated, electrified and connected driving. Being involved in more than 70 projects for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, Bosch is all set to further support OEMs in their launches of BS VI compliant vehicles through tailor-made solutions and requisite servicing. "Bosch is a company with vast experience in mobility and beyond. We not only focus on creating an automated,


electrified and connected mobility ecosystem but also strive towards making vehicles a smart and safe companion in the future. Bosch is committed to working towards unleashing the full potential in the Indian mobility space by combining its global expertise and innovative technology in order to provide the best of solutions to end customers", said Dr. Markus Heyn, Member of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch Gmbh. "The future of mobility in India will be clean, efficient, safe and connected. Bosch has been providing technological solutions for 98 years in India and continues to be a leading provider of mobility services. With the transition to BS VI, we have been at the forefront in partnering with our customers in delivering cutting edge solutions to meet the mandate," explains Mr. Soumitra Bhattacharya, Managing Director, Bosch Limited & President, Bosch Group in India. He further added, "We are actively participating in shaping the future of mobility in India through our technology

"We are actively participating in shaping the future of mobility in India through our technology agnostic approach. With a customer focused approach, we actively support the Government's initiatives towards the auto sector with an India rst objective." Mr. Soumitra Bhattacharya, Managing Director, Bosch Limited & President, Bosch Group in India.

Bosch's vision for the future of mobility is to focus on areas such as clean, efficient, safe, automated, and connected. This is tied to three technological developments: automation, electrification, and connectivity. Bosch's electric powertrain system is engineered for efficiency, economy, and dynamics. Aligned with Bosch's goal of achieving carbon neutrality, these optimized powertrain systems are key to solving challenges in energy usage and climate change. Bosch has devised an integrated system for Light electric vehicles with performance classes ranging from 1 to 20 KW, to have an all-in-one solution that enables a safe and dynamic ride experience. The motor, control unit, battery, and innovative connectivity functions synergize perfectly to ensure well-balanced vehicle performance and long range. The company offers a comprehensive range of engine management systems' technologies specifically designed for two-wheelers. These include innovation in components for fuel injection and supply, air management, ignition and exhaust-gas treatment, and engine control units. Apart from being BS VI compliant, the Electronic engine control with sophisticated sensors provides significant benefits over the conventional carburetor systems, making it fuel efficient and reducing up to 16 per cent of CO2 emissions.