Chennai, Apr 27 (PTI) Defending champion Gaurav Gill will be the star attraction in the opening round of the new season of MRF FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship (INRC), which begins with MRF 40th South India Rally here tomorrow.
Gill, who is gunning for his sixth INRC title, will be representing Team Mahindra Adventure and will be assisted by his trusted navigator Musa Sherif.
In all, 31 teams from across the country will be seen in action over the weekend.
Gill, who will be taking part in the World Rally Championship (WRC 2 category) this year, will face competition from his team mate, two-time national champion, Amittrajit Ghosh, who is also slated to take part in the European Rally Championship (ERC 3 category) this year.
The 2016 INRC champion Karna Kadur (Arka Motorsports) and last year's INRC 2 and INRC 3 winners Rahul Kanthraj (Arka Motorsports) and Dean Mascarenhas (Falkon Motorsports) are expected to pose a stiff challenge.
The comeback of veteran Vicky Chandhok (VM Motorsports) after nearly 18 years at the age of 61, will be watched with interest.
He said though he is making a comeback after a long gap, he won't be rusty and will give a tough fight to the others in fray.
"Yes, I am returning after a gap of 18 years but I have never been away from driving. I am confident ahead of the first rally and hopefully will give these younger guys a run for their money," Chandhok said at a press conference.
The rally, which is being staged at the MMRT in Sriperumbudur, will cover a total distance of close to 300 kilometres, with 100.40 kilometres earmarked for special stages on dirt tracks and another 6.20 kilometres for a super special stage on asphalt