The Telegraph
Tuesday , May 13 , 2014
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Maiden motor rally on awareness wheels

A motor rally is a novelty in itself, but tie this one with a red ribbon.

On June 15, Jharkhand’s first motor rally — on Jamshedpur and Seraikela-Kharsawan roads — will have participants distributing pamphlets on HIV/AIDS.

The rally, which will see some 40 four-wheelers cover nearly 130km, will be hosted by Jharkhand Motorsports under the aegis of Federation of Motor Sports Club of India.

The event will be held in a time-speed-distance (TSD) format. In this, teams need to maintain precision timing by driving at an average speed at various segments on a set route.

Unlike the more popular special stage rallying, TSD does not depend on the man or woman at the wheel or machine.

Each team usually consists of an amateur driver and a navigator. Mandatory safety norms include wearing helmets and seatbelts. A technical scrutineer checks each vehicle before the rally flags off.

Sources from Jharkhand Motorsports, which got its affiliation from the apex body in October, said they wanted to promote some cause as well.

HIV-AIDS awareness was unanimously favoured.

Manish Chakravarty, general secretary of Jharkhand Motorsports, said they would paste logos and messages on HIV/AIDS on cars and SUVs taking part in the rally.

“We have written to the national body that formulates, coordinates and implements guidelines, technical regulations and common organising conditions for motorsports,” he added.

Chakravarty, who played a key role in hosting the Tata Bearings Monsoon Rally on the Calcutta-Kharagpur-Jamshedpur stretch in 2007, said the track for the upcoming rally would pass through all kinds of terrain to test the participants’ skill and patience.

“The route will cover both off roads (rural roads), sealed surface (black top road) and broken road (dirt track). The twist in the tale is that each team will distribute leaflets about HIV/AIDS prevention,” Chakravarty, associated with organising national and international rallies, said.

“We expect nearly 40 cars and SUVs. Federation of Motor Sports Club of India will rope in a chief steward and two stewards. They will also name a technical scrutineer and ensure rallyists follow safety rules. Medical personnel and ambulances will accompany the rallyists,” he signed off.