Second leg of Rally de Bengal in Durgapur on Saturday

Kolkata, Sep 8 (IANS) Picking up steam from the first leg at Haldia, the second outing of Rally de Bengal is all set to be held on Saturday in Durgapur, organisers told a press meet here on Thursday.

The competition forms the east zone leg of the MRF FMSCI Indian National TSD Rally Championship 2016.

The second round is the deciding one from East Zone. With seven qualifiers from North Zone, which took place in Jaipur, already assured of a berth in the final showdown. There are a total of eight rounds. Each of the four zones has two rounds.

Altogether 28 rallyists would qualify for the national final leg from the four zones. A few wild cards would also be given.

The winning team (driver and navigator) of the East zone would be richer by Rs.25,000 while the runners up get Rs.15,000.

The rally would cover around 115 kilometres, including both dirt and tarmac roads in and around Durgapur.

“It is a dual role that we have taken up for this rally. While the Rally de Bengal has been a great success over the years, this time around, RRPM is also the promoter of the Championship. This puts an added pressure for putting up a signature event like previous years but with the team we have at RRPM, I am confident that we will succeed in doing so,” Arindam Ghosh, Director, RRPM and Clerk of the Course told reporters.

On the terrain in Durgapur, he added: “This is a virgin terrain. I am expecting a fascinating contest.”

Asked whether rain could play spoilsport, the 59-year old said: “It will be more intriguing if it rains. There won’t be any problem.”

Seasoned motorists like Saurav Chatterjee, Jogendra Jaiswal will be seen strutting their stuff on the wheel.

The rally will follow the trend of Secret Time Controls and Self Time Controls.

Secret Time Controls help in monitoring the cars during the rally. Timings are noted of each car as they traverse through the given route and in the Self Time Controls, teams have to note their timings themselves.

This does not allow any car to maintain a relatively high speed for a long duration and hence makes the rally safer.

“It helps us track if a team is trying to trick its way into the finishing line or not. It happens that one has made it to the destination before time but waits near the finishing point. We have persons at designated points of the track who monitor this. At places where we don’t, the secret time controls will help. The self time controls will, on the other hand, help the drivers,” Ghosh informed.

Starting at 7:30 a.m., the rally is expected to finish by 1:00 p.m.

The top seven teams after the first round are Jogendra Jaiswal and Prasenjit Roy, Shekhar Choudhary and Suvrajit Dutta, Biswanath Kundu and Sabatullah Khan, Subhodev Chatterjee and Gairick Khan, Santanu Saha and Mrinmoy Saha, Debarati Chanda and Somdeb Chanda, and Saurav Chatterjee and Souradeep Dutta.

–IANS

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