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India's first hill-climb race to be held at The Mughal Rally

A total of 71 teams will be taking part in the 2013 Mughal Rally which now has a hill climb racing event

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The fourth edition of the Mughal Rally is now an FIA approved motorsport event that has a hill climb race on two of the highest peaks in the country, Pir Ki Gali and Sinthan Pass. The 2013 Mughal Rally will take place on June 28 and 29 and competitors will take part with cars, SUVs and motorcycles.  The pre-event scrutiny will be held on June 27 in Srinagar to ensure that all vehicles comply with stringent rallying and safety regulations.

Motorsport experts will put their skills to test on June 28 in the hill climb to Pir Ki Gali, the highest point on the Mughal Road, at an elevation of approximately 11,500 feet (4,100 meters). Interestingly, the Mughal Road is the historic track used by Emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan to go to Lahore.

On June 29, the second hill battle will scorch the tarmac up to Sinthan Pass that is lined with walls of snow even during peak summers on National Highway 1B, connecting Kishtwar and Anantnag.

Shimla-based motorsport club, Himalayan Motorsport that created the Raid De Himalaya, is the architect behind the hill climb race. 

Talat Parvez, Director Tourism Kashmir, said he was enamoured by the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, one of the most popular motorsport events in the USA. “This race is on the international events calendar of Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing bodies for international motor sporting events. We realized that Pir Ki Gali on Mughal Road and Sinthan Pass offer the same challenge to motorsport enthusiasts. This year, we have entries from almost all parts of the country for the hill climb, and it has the potential of becoming an international challenge,” said Pervez.

The Mughal Rally was started in 2010, when the Mughal Road was a made of nothing but mud and rocks. Now in 2013, it is now a smooth, double lane highway which will be formally opened by Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh on June 25.

Polaris RZR 800

“The format of the event has changed from a rally to a hill climb because of the way the track has changed,” said Vijay Parmar, the President of Himalayan Motorsport. “Rallying is on dirt track, which we see in the Raid. With the road almost fully tarmac here, we now have a fantastic hill climb challenge,” he stated.

In 2010, average top speeds hovered around 55 km/h on the stretch between the four hill climb stages on Peer Ki Gali and Sinthan Pass. With the improvement of the roads in 2012, the average speeds went up to a staggering 170 km/h. In 2013, the participants are expected to cover the 67 kilometer stretch of the Mughal Road in about 45 minutes.

The rally will be flagged off from a Royal Springs Golf Course on June 28. It will proceed to Jammu over the Mughal Road for the night halt. June 29 will see the rally return via the lesser known areas of Reasi, Salal, Gool to Ramban, and finally taken on the hill climb to Sinthan Pass, to end in Srinagar.

A total of 71 teams (each team has a driver and a navigator) will be taking part in the 2013 Mughal Rally of which 35 teams fall under the Enduro category which runs on the Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) format, there are 26 teams under the Xtreme (4X4) category and 10 teams in the Xtreme (Moto) biking category. 

Polaris will be taking part in the off-road sections of the 2013 Mughal Rally with its RZR S 800 that will be driven by the company’s top rider Raj Singh Rathore. 

Speaking about Polaris’s participation in the Mughal Rally, Pankaj Dubey, Managing Director, Polaris India, “ We Indians are showing more inclination and interest towards adventure sports. This has opened a wide scope of opportunity for the off-road vehicle industry to gain success. Mughal Rally is a fully packed adventurous journey and we are happy to be a part of it. Even though, this is our first time at the Mughal Rally, I am confident that we will emerge with flying colours as we have done in other similar events previously. We are excited and confident about our Atv’s  and are prepared to win the top spot with our ace product, RZR S 800.”

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