Stage set for Autocross gala

Bangalore, April 28: A total of 98 entrants will blast off Sunday in the first round of the AOM-Indian National Autocross Championship at the Palace grounds here in what promises to be high octane action.

Of the entries, quite a few have entered in more than one of the six classes that are based on engine cubic capacity while a seventh category is exclusively for women seven of whom, including “Tarmac Queen” Navaz Sandhu, have confirmed their participation.

A feature of the Autocross is the two-lane layout of the track that measures about 900 metres a lap and will be run twice with the qualifying session scheduled for Sunday morning followed by the races.

The venue was a beehive of activity on Saturday with the organisers racing the clock in a bid to get the track ready for the practice session that was already delayed with the erection of cross-over bridge taking up more time than visualised.

Under the circumstances, the restive participants were to have a run on the track only late in the evening, but the delay notwithstanding, the excitement was palpable.

The confirmed entries include seasoned rally drivers like Lohitt Urs, Rahul Kanthraj, Vikram Devadasen and Chetan Shivaram among others with the legendary Babban Khan, winner of some 800 trophies, also in the fray.

Two cars will race against each other at a time over two laps on a circuit that is a mix of tight corners and fast sections that should test the driving skills and also the set-up of the car. With a mix of dirt and tarmac sections, the tyre choice will influence the performance.

Points ranging from 25 for first place up to one for 10th finisher are being offered while seven class titles and as many team championships are also up for grabs.

In keeping with the trend, the promoter, Wynnsport, has organised music concert that will be headlined by Delhi band Parikrama while the local Harley-Davidson bike club known as the Pandhis will strut their machines.

The championship comprises six rounds and the caravan will move to Kochi (May 26-27), Coimbatore (July 14-15), Chennai (Sep 15-16) and Mumbai (Nov 3-4) before finishing here Dec 8-9.

IANS