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After the success of the inaugural year, the all-women Bengaluru-Chikamaglur-Coorg rally has only grown bigger and better with the 100 participants enthusiastically preparing for this exciting but demanding championship race.
Participants will showcase their skills and acumen in the Time, Speed, Distance (TSD) format, which is a slow speed format that relies a lot on navigation. Calculations are made purely in terms of time and the routes are not disclosed to the drivers. During the course, a speed limit is imposed in different parts that need to be adhered to strictly. Along the way, secret checkpoints note the time and then compute whether the drivers are going fast or slow, and penalty points are applied accordingly. The team with the least number of penalties is declared the winner.
Defending champion Geetha Wadhwa will look to reclaim her crown in the rally, which is also called the Divas on Wheels rally, over the next two days.
The ceremonial start of the rally, an FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports CLubs of India) approved event, took place in Bengaluru on Thursday, with as many as 100 ladies in the contention. They will be flagged off from Bengaluru on Friday morning, and will traverse through the beautiful landscapes of Chikmagalur and Coorg on January 18 and 19.
The rally will cover a total distance of around 750km. Day One will see participants drive from Bengaluru to Chikmagalur, covering 350km. After a night’s halt, the drivers then travel from Chikmagalur to the finishing point at Coorg Pollibetta over a distance of 300 km.
Besides title-holder Geetha, Shivani Pruthvi, who won the previous edition of Times Women’s Drive, along with Ashima Duggal and Amrita Shergill (runners-up at the Times Women’s Drive) are the other notable names in the field.
The ceremonial flag-off took place at Fairfield by Marriott Rajajinagar at 4.30 pm.