The first leg of the India Baja 2017 kicked off today just outside Jaisalmer with four competitive stages covering a total of around 290km. While Stage 1, 2 and 3 were held at separate locations, Stage 4 was a reverse format of Stage 2. Unlike last year's edition, the India Baja is split into two legs with a total of six stages. The rally raid's competitive section will cover a total distance of around 430km.
Hero MotoSport Team Rally's Joaquim Rodrigues leads the Moto category at the 2017 India Baja
Taking the lead in the Moto category after Leg 1 is Joaquim Rodrigues from Team Hero MotoSports with a time of 3hr11m45s, while Aravind KP of TVS Racing stands second with a time of 3hr29m36s. Abdul Wahid Tanveer, also from TVS Racing is third, with a time of 3hr37m04s. His teammate, Adrien Metge has dropped out of the rally after suffering a mechanical failure in SS4.
Raj Singh Rathore leads the Xtreme 4X4 class of the event
However, since Rodrigues and Aravind have raced at the Dakar, they're not eligible for the Dakar Challenge prize - a free entry to the 2017 Merzouga Rally and the 2018 Dakar Rally. This puts Tanveer in the lead to win the prize.
In the Xtreme 4X4 category, Raj Singh Rathore and Jeevarathinam J are in first place with a time of 4hr23m on the clock. Following around 1m10s behind in second are Gaurav Chiripal and Karan Arya, while Himanshu Arora and Chirag Thakur are third with a time of 4hr45m22s. Leg 2 will host two competitive stages near Jaisalmer which will cover a total of around 140km.