The Asia Pacific Rally Championship welcomes India to the series with the final round of the 2015 APRC Asia Cup scheduled to take place December 11 to 13 in Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka and known as the Coffee Day Rally. The event is located 250kms from Bengaluru (previously Bangalore).
India is already a big part of the APRC with MRF (Madras Rubber Factory) joining in 2003 and sponsoring the most successful team in the championship , MRF driver Gaurav Gill from India the 2013 APRC drivers champion and Sanjay Takale from Pune the 2013 Production Car Champion.
“The APRC is pleased to have India included in the 2015 calendar and we know that many competitors will look forward to the challenge of a new and exciting event on the international calendar. The APRC welcomes the inclusion and looks forward to a hugely successful partnership”, said APRC president Steven Kennedy.
Announcing India’s inclusion in the APRC , Mr R Bharath Raj, President, the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India, said: “It’s a great New Year’s gift for not only the FMSCI, but also entire nation. Getting a round of the Asia Cup is just a beginning as we endeavour to make India a preferred international Rally destination.
Farooq Ahmed, Chairman, FMSCI Rally Commission, added “It was always our ambition to put Chikkamagaluru on the international motorsport map and we are happy that the dream has become a reality. We will work hard and take opinions and suggestions from various experts connected with motorsport to ensure that Rally India is a success.”
For the APRC the inclusion of India adds another one billion people to its potential fan and population base and takes the current total to over 2.85 billion persons, when adding China, Japan, Australia and the other countries in the championship.
The Asia Cup is run as part of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship and consists of four rounds to be held in Malaysia, Japan, China and India. Japanese driver Yuya Sumiyama from Japan is the current Asia Cup Champion.
Mr. Venkatesh M, Director, Coffee Day Hotels and Resorts, said: “We are proud and excited to associate with Asia Pacific Rally Championship. Coffee Day Rally has always received an overwhelming response from people all over the country and this year we look forward to creating a new level of excitement in the minds of the spectators and Indian sportsmen.
“While we aim to conduct the sport as per international standards, our association with APRC will put us on the global map. We look forward to putting this event together with our fellow national and international sponsors.”
The 2015 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship will feature the following events:
International Rally of Whangarei (New Zealand) – 17-19 April – including Pacific Cup
Rallye de Nouvelle Caledonie (New Caledonia) – 15-17 May – including Pacific Cup
International Rally of Queensland (Australia) – 19-21 June – including Pacific Cup
Malaysian Rally (Malaysia) – 14-16 August – including Asia Cup
Rally Hokkaido (Japan) – 18-20 September – including Asia Cup
China Rally (China) – 30 October – 1 November – including Asia Cup
Rally India (India) – 11-13 December – Asia Cup only.