Popular Vehicles & Services Pvt. Ltd (PVS), the title sponsor; and Southern Adventures & Motorsports (SAM), which executes the Rally, wishes to announce that all preparations for the 2017 edition of Popular Rally are going in full swing.
Categories & Prize Money
Apart from the FMSCI Cup, the event will feature competitions in the upto-2000 cc, Gypsy, Esteem and Open categories. The total prize money for the event will be Rs.6 lakhs. Additionally, the Winner will also be presented with a dedicated Trophy.
Participants and Entries
The Supplementary Regulations of the rally published in the FMSCI website last week, marked the opening of the entries. The first entry we received was none other than the reigning Indian National Car Rally Champions Karna Kadur and Nikhil Pai of Team Yokohama. We are receiving a great response from the participants, in spite of the Popular Rally not being a part of the Indian National Rally Championships for 2017.
We have participants from New Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mangalore etc. We also have an international entry in the form of Saneem Sani, who hails from Guruvayoor and is the current championship leader in the front-wheel-drive class at the UAE rally championship.
Some of the top drivers from Kerala like Adith K C (2014 FMSCI Cup Champion) from Palakkad, Younus Ilyas (Team Asten Mather) from Kollam, the duo of Jacob KJ & Manoj Mohanan (Reigning FMSCI cup champions) from Thrissur, the upcoming drivers of SNAP Racing’s Kassim (Indian Rally Champion Runner-up 2016) and Fabid from Palakkad are also participating.
The other INRC regulars and champion drivers like Arjun Rao and Dean Mascarenhas from Mangalore, Philippos Matthai from New Delhi, Hrishikesh Thackersay and Daraius Shroff from Mumbai, Chetan Shivram, Sanjay Agarwal and Druva Chandrashekar from Bangalore, Prem Kumar (current champion at the Raid de Himalaya rally 2016- T2 category) and Nibu Sayed from Kottayam are also expected to participate.
The Special Stages and Route
The rally starts from Marine Drive at 5 pm on the 13th of May and finishes between 5 pm and 6.30 pm on the 14th of May at Marine Drive. It will travel a total distance of nearly 300 kms, which comprises of more than 200 kms of transport section (on the public roads) and more than 80 kms of Special Stages (on closed roads).
The Special Stages, where the real action takes place, is 100% Tarmac surface on plantation roads in the Malayattoor / Kalady areas. The roads are mostly smooth, flowing, fast and narrow at places, which would make it really tricky.
Safety of the participants, general public, property and the thousands of spectators who watch the Rally are given the utmost priority for this edition of the Popular Rally. The safety standards of the INRC rally cars are so good, there hasn’t been any major injuries for any crew in the recent times, in spite of the super high speeds at which they drive at the Special Stages. The rally is covered with a public liability insurance for Rs.50 lakhs.
The marshals are well trained, with years of experience in various motor-sports disciplines, capable of dealing with any eventuality. We are organizing special training sessions for the marshals on the 7th of May. There will be about 100 trained marshals in the 20 kilometres of special stages to control the spectators and to direct them to safe viewing zones.
We will be having full medical support from our medical partner for the rally, The Medical Trust Hospital, with four trauma ambulances, team of doctors. The nearest multi-speciality hospitals are also intimated to to be on the alert for their assistance, if required.
Boards are being put up in the nearby towns to intimate them regarding the rally. We have distributed pamphlets to every household on the route regarding the rally schedule and running and also the safety measures to be taken.
We will also be seeking the assistance of the Fire Department, Police, Transport and Forest departments for the smooth and safe running of the rally.
Popular Rally Fest
As part of Rally, Popular Rally Fest is being organized at the Marine Drive on 13th and 14th. The highlight of the Fest will be Battle of the Bands, a band competition, to celebrate, support and recognize the excellence of bands from across Kerala. This will be co-ordinated by Myuz, our Entertainment Partner. 3 winners will be determined by a panel of judges with prize money being Rs.30000, Rs.20000, and Rs.10000 respectively. Title Winner also gets a free recording session at BlueTimbre Bangalore.
A live stage performance of the Theme song for the Rally will be done by BlueTimbre at the venue during flag off. “Thakkara”, the leading band will have their live exclusive performance on May 14th.
A Movie Bus with the ambience of a theatre inside will play movie and other interesting clips related to racing and cars.
Another aspect of the Fest is a display of Automobile related Projects by college students.
Stalls in the Fest will include displays of Vintage & Classic c
ars along with latest ones, Autoservices, Corporate brands, Kids zone, Food courts and much more.
Apart from Popular Vehicles, the title sponsor, Mobil and Axalta Coating Systems are the Associate Sponsors. Other major sponsors of the event include National Insurance, New India Assurance, and IndusInd Bank.
The Rally Office will start functioning on the 12th of May at the IBIS Hotel, our hospitality partner. Event management is by Watermark.
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