India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki organised an all women car rally in the city of Pune this Sunday, which saw an overwhelming response from over 82 members of the fairer sex. The objective of the rally was to encourage more active participation from women in motorsports.
The Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rally was flagged off in Viman Nagar and traversed across the hilly areas in the city covering a total distance of 120 km. Two categories were charted out in the rally - first for all-women crew and another for car driven by a woman driver with mixed crew. These categories were further sub-divided into novice and experts to keep the competition even.
Like any other rally, the primary objective of the participants was to navigate the route, which had hidden check points, while maintaining to the prescribed time. For guidance, a road book detailing the instruction based on TSD was provided to the navigators, who were tasked with calculating the Time based on Speed and Distance figures and accordingly, guide the driver about the speeds at which the car was to be driven.
At the end of the one day rally, it was Archana Khinvasara who aced the competition in her Maruti Suzuki Ritz in the overall category. The second and third overall winners were Priya Joshi and Priyanka Singh Guleria.
Commenting on the win, Khinvasara remarked, “I am very excited at this win! The track was beautifully planned out and I absolutely loved the whole experience. I was scared in a few instances but my navigator’s (Mr Vivek Khinvasar) directions were excellent. I am overjoyed at this achievement and the next halt for me is the Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare with my Ritz.”
Commenting on the one day rally event, Manohar Bhat, vice president of marketing, Maruti Suzuki said, “ Maruti Suzuki has been associated with motorsports for over two decades. Each year, we have seen increasing interest from women motorsports enthusiasts. The women car rally is a good opportunity for women motorsport enthusiasts to gauge their preparedness for some bigger rallies - like the Maruti Suzuki Raid-de-Himalaya, Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm and the Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare. Besides, rallying teaches road discipline and helps us promote road safety. The driving skills like enhanced braking, skid correction, tackling multiple terrains, etc, which participants pick up during motorsport events like this rally, have an immediate impact on improving the safety during real time driving.”