Competitor No. 3 Joydeep Paul and Prithwiraj Ray driving through the forest en route to Durgapur at the Kolkata Car Rally.
Come monsoon and the motor sports fraternity of eastern India gets geared up for the Kolkata Car Rally which since the past three years has become an annual fixture in the city's motor sports calendar in this part of the country. On Saturday, August 4, hundreds of motor sports enthusiasts gathered to cheer the participants at Salt Lake Stadium as the rally-prepared Esteems, Balenos, Gypsys and Cedias zipped, zapped and zoomed battling with each other for supremacy at the Indianoil XtraRewards Kolkata Car Rally 2012.
A total of 58 teams participated in the Indianoil XtraRewards Kolkata Car Rally comprising of 34 general and 24 novice teams. The event was organised by Kolkata on Wheels in association with Bengal Motor Sports Club and Automobile Association of Eastern India-Durgapur. The rally was conducted under the guidance of Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) and run in the Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) format.
The rally was flagged off from Salt Lake Stadium and screeched to a halt at City Centre, Durgapur. Indrajit Bose, Executive Director, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Rajat Mazumdar, President, Bengal Motor Sports Club, Tapan Kumar Debnath, Hony. Secretary General, Automobile Association of Eastern India and Tollywood actress Nusrat Jahan graced the ocassion as the guests of honour. Also present at the flag off ceremony were several other corporate dignitaries and motor sports luminaries of eastern India.
Tollywood actress Nusrat Jahan at the flag-off ceremony at Salt Lake Stadium.
The competitors had to cover a distance of 250 kilometres from Kolkata to Durgapur consisting of 20 per cent dirt track. They traversed through highways, villages, forests and rough terrain en route to Durgapur.
And once all the dust settled, it was time to enjoy. The Rally Ball was held on the same evening at Hotel Riviera at Durgapur. It was a gala affair which witnessed a lot camaderie among the competitors, stewards, marshals and officials while everyone let their hair down and had a good time.
“It was extremely encouraging to see such a great turn out. It is after many years that a TSD rally of this magnitude has been organised. We are happy to be associated with Indian Oil XtraRewards Kolkata Car Rally and glad that the organisers chose Durgapur as the culmination point of the rally”, said Samir Basu, Secretary, Automobile Association of Eastern India-Durgapur.
Winner of the Kolkata Car Rally (General Category) - Somdeb Chanda and Nirav Mehta with the Kolkata Cup.
The prize distribution ceremony was held on Sunday, August 5, at the Peerless Hotel at Durgapur. The team of Somdeb Chanda and Nirav Mehta emerged victorious in the general category with Sanjay Arya and Yogesh Gupta finishing second and Soham Hazra and Amit Kumar Saha securing the third position.
In the novice category Avik Bhattacharyya and Bijoy Majumdar finished first, while Debdular Ghoshal and Anil Nagbanshi secured the second position and Prasenjit Banerjee and Abbash Chobdar secured the third place on the podium.
Aparup Mukherjee, Mayor of Durgapur Municipal Corporation handed over the prizes to the winners.
“It has always been our objective to boost motor sports in eastern India and encourage more people to participate in the sport. Never before has anyone witnessed 58 four wheelers taking part in a TSD rally in eastern India and I’m very happy that our team could achieve such a feat. In fact, it is a matter of great joy that as many as 24 novice teams had entered this rally. Many of them are first time rallyist and have come forward to participate in a motor sports event. This is extremely encouraging and I’m confident that with our collective effort and enthusiasm shown by motor sports lovers, the sun will shine bright in the horizon of eastern India’s motor sporting circuit in the future”, said Souvik Ghosh, Rally Convener and Editor of Kolkata on Wheels magazine.
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