Chikmagalur Rally likely to make it to 2015 Asia Cup calendar
Whether or not the India Rally would make it to the 2014 Asia Cup calendar, held as a part of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, although at different geographical locations, was something debated for a long while. While the Coffee Day Rally of Chikmagalur was being looked at as the event that could possibly make it to the calendar in 2014, with APRC observer Murray Brown even coming to the event in 2013 to evaluate it, things didn't go as planned. The rally was initially meant to be held in April 2014, dates that weren't suitable because of the parliamentary elections. Unable to make the event happen in 2014, the organisers were targetting getting the Asia Cup to India in 2015.
The Volkswagen GT TDI in action at the 2013 Chikmagalur Rally
While the current Asia Pacific Rally Championship calendar has the Asia Cup pencilled in to make it to India between July 3 and 5, 2015, at a meeting in September, the Council rejected those dates because of the monsoons which would make it unsuitable to run the event at that time. While the organisers of the Coimbatore Rally had initially considered holding the event, they eventually pulled out because of lack of sponsors. However, with the season finale, the Thailand Rally being dropped from the calendar, the FIA has agreed to consider rescheduling the India Rally and holding it between December 11 and 13, 2015.
A total competitive distance of 240km is required for a round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, with a waiver of 40km for the Asia Cup, which means a competitive distance of 200km should suffice. In spite of this, the organising club, the Motorsports Club of Chikmagalur is believed to be targeting normal APRC distance. They plan on using the original Coffee 500 stages of Kadur and Birur for Leg 1, along with the current stages of Chettanahalli, Kumaragode and Chandrapura for Leg 2. While the organisers of the event do believe that should they run each stage three times too, the possibility of the stages wearing out are nil. There are already attempts being made to concretise certain corners in order to make sure that they last the distance.
Official word on whether or not the Asia Cup will indeed make it to India in 2015 is expected soon. Watch this space.
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