New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) The second edition of the India Baja cross-country motorsports rally will be held from April 7 to 9 in the Golden City of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, promoters Northern Motorsports announced on Tuesday.
With the distinction of becoming the first ever cross-country rally in India to be a part of the globally acclaimed Dakar Challenge Series, the event's winner in the two-wheeler category will earn a free entry in the 2018 Dakar Rally in Peru while the winner in the four-wheeler category will get a free entry in the 2018 Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm.
The 2017 India Baja will act as an ideal preparation ground for professional rallyists to test themselves in the most extreme driving conditions and under stringent international cross-country rallying rules and regulations.
The rally will be conducted over two legs, which are divided into six stages covering a total competitive distance of 430 km. With an additional 200 km as liaison, the competitors will be tackling a total distance in excess of 600 km.
Some of the prominent names who will put their skills to test in the dune country-side on the outskirts of Jaisalmer include Portuguese rider Joaquim Rodriguez representing Hero Motorsports Team Rally, French pilot Adrien Metge and India's Aravind K.P., both representing TVS Racing.
Unfortunately, India's top rally-raid rider C.S. Santosh of Hero Motorsports and winner of the first edition of India Baja in 2016, has to sit out because he is still recovering from a neck injury he suffered in a nasty crash in the Desert Storm rally in January.
The event will see the participation of 40 top riders in the bike category across different classes and more than 100 competitors in total.
Commenting on the event, Northern Motorsports co-founder Raj Kapoor said: "The 2017 edition of the India Baja has all the makings of an exciting motorsport event. We will see state-of-the-art competition machines fighting in the extreme heat and challenging terrain."
"India Baja will also pit India's best riders against some most skillful riders in the world. All this makes for a compelling human interest story as the participants battle it out against the terrain and the conditions," he added.