Indian National Rally Champions of The Decade

indian_national_rally_champions_of_the_decade

Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) is an adventure sport that includes a series of rallies organized by the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) and Motorsports Association of India (MAI). The INRC is a point based Driver and co-Driver championship held every year. It was in the year 1988 that the championship first received its National Championship title. It was then known as Federation of Indian Rally Drivers Championship (FIRDC) and was organized by Federation of Motor Sports clubs of India (FMSCI). FMSCI was the governing body from 1988 till 1999. During this period Two Wheelers were also included in the FIRDC. The current governing body is MAI (Motorsports Association of India) as approved by FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile).

Motor Sports in India took a long time to settle its feet. The first ever road race held in India was way back in 1904. Motor Union of Western India organized the race and it ran from Delhi to Mumbai, a distance of 810 miles. In that race, only amateur drivers were allowed to participate each accompanied by an observer to record the number of stops made en route. The winner was selected on the basis of least number of unauthorized halts made during the journey. Soon there were a few racing enthusiasts thinking to promote the sport as there was no rules, no central governing body administering the sport, no national competitions and prize money, and definitely no professionals.

One such enthusiast was Percy Ghyara, an acknowledged expert on the origin and development of auto racing in India. In his words “it was fun”, specially driving down a carved out racing track along the Worli Seaface in Mumbai or puffing around in an old Ford on Marina Road in Chennai. Recalls Percy, in Mumbai where a car owner would drive hell for leather only to be caught by a prowling policeman, and both cop and driver enjoyed their cat-and-mouse game once in a while. Soon Kolkata too had its own dare-devils who drove on the wings of skill and fear. An off-the-cuff meeting brought together Rusi Sethna in an old Ford, Dara Pandole and Effie Dinshaw, who would regularly drive from the Wellington Club in Mahalaxmi down to Worli.” However the outbreak of World War II put everything on hold. Post war; all racing enthusiast woke up and discovered various air strips which can actually be converted into race tracks – Juhu, Sholavaram, Barakpur and Yellahanka – all became well-known tracks over the years.

Southern India is considered the cradle of motor sport in the country and this statement is true to an extent because Sholavaram stands out as the Mecca of Indian motor sports though it no longer serves as the venue for professional events.

Following are the Indian National Rally Champions in Last Decade:

  • Year : 2000

Driver :Naren Kumar
Co-Driver : D Ram Kumar
Team : Team MRF
Car : Maruti Baleno Group A
Tuner : N Leelakrishnan

  • Year : 2001

Driver :N Leelakrishnan
Co-Driver : Farooq Ahmed
Team : Team MRF
Car : Honda City Group A
Tuner : N Leelakrishnan

  • Year : 2002

Driver : Naren Kumar
Co-Driver : D Ram Kumar
Team : Team MRF
Car : Honda City Group A
Tuner : N Leelakrishnan

  • Year : 2003

Driver : Naren Kumar
Co-Driver : D Ram Kumar
Team : Team MRF
Car : Honda City Group A
Tuner : N Leelakrishnan

  • Year : 2004

Driver : Vikram Mathias
Co-Driver : Sujith Kumar
Team : Team MRF
Car : Honda City Group A
Tuner : N Leelakrishnan

  • Year : 2005

Driver : Naren Kumar
Co-Driver : D Ram Kumar
Team : JK Rally Team
Car : Maruti Baleno Group A
Tuner : N Leelakrishnan

  • Year : 2006

Driver : Naren Kumar
Co-Driver : D Ram Kumar
Team : JK Rally Team
Car : Maruti Baleno Group A
Tuner : N Leelakrishnan

  • Year : 2007

Driver : Gaurav Gill
Co-Driver : Moosa Sherif
Team : Team MRF
Car : Mitsubishi Cedia Group A
Tuner : J. Anand

  • Year : 2008

Driver : Vikram Mathias
Co-Driver : PVS Murthy
Team : Red Rooster Racing
Car : Mitsubishi Cedia Group A
Tuner : N Leelakrishnan

  • Year : 2009

Driver : Gaurav Gill
Co-Driver : Moosa Sherif
Team : Team MRF
Car : Mitsubishi Cedia Group A
Tuner : J. Anand

  • Year : 2010

Driver : Naren Kumar
Co-Driver : D Ram Kumar
Team : Red Rooster Racing
Car : Mitsubishi Cedia Group A
Tuner : N Leelakrishnan