The second edition of the
India Baja—an international motorsports event promoted by Northern Motorsports
India—will be held from April 7-9, 2017, in the Golden City of Jaisalmer,
Rajasthan. The event this year will have the added attraction of being the
third inclusion to the Dakar Challenge series, along with the Sonora Rally in
South Africa and the Afriquia Merzouga Rally in Morocco.
Meanwhile, TVS Riders displayed their racing
prowess at the TVS Racing track near Bangalore. Sherco TVS Dakar Rider Adrien
Metge will also be a part of this rally for TVS Racing. During the practice,
Metge interacted with his team mates Aravind KP, AW Tanveer and R Nataraj.
India Baja 2017 will be the
first motorsports event from the country to achieve this distinction. This
means an opportunity to the moto winner in the two-wheeler category will be
granted a free-entry at the 2018 Dakar Rally, which will begin from Peru in
January 2018. The moto winner will also get a free entry in the Afriquia
Merzouga Rally in Morocco that will be held in May 2017 and is part of the
Dakar Series of races. Both the Dakar Challenge and Dakar Series races are
meant to unearth fresh talent to compete in the ultimate off-road race on the
Planet—the Dakar Rally.
For the winning rider at the
India Baja, the free entries in the two top-level global competitions
translates into a prize worth in excess of Euros 20,000. Rajasthan Tourism is partnering Northern
Motorsports India for the smooth conduct of the India Baja 2017.
Some of the prominent names
that will be seen putting their skills in 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 Indian
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 that he suffered in a nasty crash in the Desert Storm rally
In the 2017 Dakar Rally,
Rodrigues brought home his Hero-Speedbrain 450 Rally in commendable 12th place
in the overall general classifications in the moto class on his debut
appearance in the 9,000-km cross-country race. Metge endured an extremely tough
race in very demanding conditions to
climb up the finish podium on his
Sherco-TVS Racing 450 Rally bike in 22nd place. Arvind became the second Indian
to enter the iconic rally in the footsteps of Santosh. However, Aravind had to pull out after
injuring himself on the third stage in the Dakar this year. For him, India Baja
will mark a return to competitive racing after recovering from the shoulder
injury he suffered in early January in Argentina.
The other notable names who
will be testing their skill against some of the most accomplished riders on the
rally-raid circuit will be national champions R. Nataraj and Abdul Wahid
Tanveer of TVS Racing.
The rally will be flagged off
from the Marriot Hotel in the heritage city of Jaisalmer on the April 7 and
will conclude also at the same venue of 9th April 2017. India Baja 2017 will
see the participation of 40 top riders in the bike category across different
classes and more than 100 competitors in total.
In the four-wheeler category,
the winner will get a free entry in the 2018 edition of MS Desert Storm.