Coimbatore, Jul 29 (PTI) Top rallyists, including Gaurav Gill, Karna Kadur and Amittrajit Ghosh, will be squaring off and renewing their battles for top honours when the curtain goes up on the MRF FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) here tomorrow. Also Read - Assam Rifles Jawan Killed in Ambush by Militants in Arunachal Pradesh

Thirty-two teams will be in fray at the opening round of the championship, the MRF Rally of Coimbatore, with two-time APRC champion Gill (Team Mahindra Adventure), defending champion Karna (ARKA Motorsports INRC), two-time INRC champion Amittrajit (Team Mahindra Adventure) and Arjun Rao (AR Racing) likely to be the main contenders once again. Also Read - Domestic Flights Update: Now Take Flights To Mangalore, Madurai, Coimbatore, Kangra - Read On

The rally will cover a distance of 200 kilometres in and around Kethanur, on the outskirts of the city of Coimbatore, with 71.40 kilometres earmarked for 5 special stages on gravel roads. It traverses through closed sections of, both, public and private, roads and the entire route map has already been shared with the competitors for reconnaissance. Also Read - China Has No Locus Standi to Comment on India’s Internal Matters: MEA

Arindam Ghosh, Director, RRPM said: “The 2017 edition of INRC is a big season for us. For the first time, we will be hosting a round in Arunachal Pradesh and the good news is that it is being backed by Arunachal Tourism. This is a great development as globally tourism plays a major role in sponsoring motor sports, including in the WRC.” In all, there will be six rounds this year and all of them will be held in different locales and different terrains which will test the skills of the drivers to the hilt.

“Last year my car broke down so I couldn’t be among the top contenders. But that s in the past,” Gill said.

“I am ready and raring to go now. We are going to have new car set-ups from the next round which will make the cars faster and so a lot more exciting for us,” he added.

Defending champion Karna Kadur, who will be competing for a new team this season, conceded that he would need some time to get his car into the groove.

Amitrajit also revealed that he was a little rustic as he hadn’t been in a rally car for seven months. “I will get into my rhythm soon,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.