Sunday, July 29, 2012

Monsoon Scooter Rally 2012 at Navi Mumbai - TOI News




There were 39 daredevil dirt riders, but a few could complete the challenging task on the terrain course of the scooter rally held recently amidst heavy rains that lashed the city. The torrential rains that the city experienced over the last few days made the riding on the gravel-laden, winding course dicey. Virtually almost all the riders took a tumble or two and some even damaged their scooters due to lesser visibility of the course which was affected by knee-deep water-logging patches all through the densely forest at the foothill of Targhar village near Uran.

Many riders had to literally push and drag their scooters stuck in the slushy terrain to avoid penalty timing. But it was an amazing experience for motor sports lovers of the city who explored all possibilities to have a glimpse of the spectacular adventure held once a year in the backwoods of Navi Mumbai. Kharghar rider E S Shekharan was the medal hopeful but he disappointed the home crowd that made their presence felt all along the competition track.In the main competitive course, former champion and Mumbai resident Rustom Patel overcame unyielding conditions and a strong field to emerge triumphant in the 23rd Gulf Monsoon Scooter Rally, organised by Sportscraft. Rustom came up trump with judicious riding over the dirt tracts of Navi Mumbai to win the gruelling 35 km race with a penalty of 29 minutes and 54 seconds.
“I retained this title after several seasons of arduous struggle with consistent training. This was the most cherished moment after winning the show for yet another time which gave me an impetus to stay in the field when the race is going bigger and better every edition with new rides coming in to participate,” said champion Rustom.
While new entrant Muzzafar Ali from Bhopal who participated for the first time came in creditable second with a penalty of 30 minutes and 15 seconds, Chembur lad Kunal Rao had to settle for third position with a penalty of 33 minutes and 07 seconds. Defending champion and Mulund rider Avtar Singh failed to match the speed of medal winners this time due to a few falls along the course.
The show was kicked off from Parel after which the riders rode to the eastern side of the city for competition along the backwoods of Vashi, Targhar, Bombay Pada and Vovale.
The riders had to exercise extreme caution while negotiating the steep inclines and hairpin bends along the entire course of 35 km. It was also difficult riding through water logged areas but almost all riders went through the exercise rather efficiently.
Rustom Patel was also first in his class in the 110 to 160 cc class (4 stroke) while Muzaffar Ali and Nikunj Gala were second and third respectively in the same class. While four-time champion and Mulund resident Manjit Singh topped in the 111cc to 160 cc class (2 strokes), followed by Chinmay Bisht and Freddy Elavia on second and third position respectively. In the 80cc to 110cc class( 2 stroke), Kunal Rao lead the pack from the front, Ashish Nair was second while Sashank Shewale was third.

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