2014 Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare entries open: Ultimate Category restricted to 1600cc
The Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare has opened entries for the 2014 edition of the event to be held between August 3-9 and this time the event has some changes to the route. While it's become something of a norm for the event to be flagged off from Bangalore, the Dakshin Dare will now conclude in Goa. But it appears that changes to the route map aren't the only differences in the event - there are more changes. The Dakshin Dare's Ultimate Category now features a change to the Supplementary Regulations that specifies that vehicles with an engine capacity of only up to 1600cc are allowed to compete in the event.
While speaking to officials from Maruti however, there was no clear indication as to why the event's restriction in engine capacity had been put in place. "The suggestion came from Jaidas Menon whose company Motorsport Inc. runs the event for us," said a Maruti official.
"Over the past few years we have noticed that the event doesn't attract too many entries in the Ultimate Class," said Menon. "People are of the opinion that they travel so far and then get beaten by competitors in bigger cars, which discourages entry into the event, so we put this rule in place to ensure that we can get more participation." Menon has declared that they have seen an increase in entries to the event already, with 20 to 25 participants expressing interest in the event this year as opposed to 12 to 15 that were entered last year. "We have confirmed two Volkswagen Polos that will compete in the event," said Menon.
Suresh Rana has to trade in his Grand Vitara for a Gypsy in order to compete in the 2014 Dakshin Dare
The restriction on the engine capacity means that Suresh Rana, who has competed in a Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare last year in a Grand Vitara, won't be allowed to use it this year. "I'm not sure why this regulation has been put in place, but I am currently preparing a Gypsy for the event," said the Maruti backed driver.
The restriction on entries means that the slew of Mitsubishi Cedias that have been prepared for rallying in the past and Mahindra SuperXUVs won't be allowed to compete in the event. "It is entirely at the organiser's discretion to restrict the event to a certain engine specification," said J Prithviraj, president of the FMSCI. But given that the Dakshin Dare is not a one-make event, such a restriction seems more about exclusion than inclusion.
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