The Dakar Rally is the most gruelling cross country rally raid in the world. And for a long time there have been various Indian companies that have been vying for a spot in the event. OVERDRIVE has just learnt that the 2015 edition of the Dakar Rally will have two independent Indian entities taking part in it - one manufacturer, and the other, a rider.
Let's start with the manufacturer. The TVS Motor Company is all set to make its Dakar debut by sponsoring Sherco Motorcycles at the 2015 edition of the event. The French and the Spanish motorcycle manufacturer is known to specialise in off-road motorcycles, with TVS stickers spotted on the Sherco bikes at the Morocco Rally held earlier this year. Details of exactly how much involvement TVS will have in Sherco's Dakar operations are expected to be revealed at a press conference soon.
Now onto the rider. It should come as no surprise that for CS Santosh the Dakar would be the next obvious step. The rider has spent most of the 2015 rally raid season competing in the World Cross Country Rally Championship, having ridden at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the Qatar Rally and the Morocco Rally too. Given that the Dakar has been on his radar for quite a while, his debut in the event has been a long time coming. OVERDRIVE has learned that the Bangalore-based rally-raid rider will compete at the 2015 edition of the Dakar astride a factory supported KTM. The rider will be backed partially by the PB Group, with some amount of support also coming in from Red Bull. [UPDATE: We have since been informed that the PB Racing Group has not supported Santosh in any way in his Dakar campaign, and no money has come through from them.]
This is currently a developing story, and over the next couple of days we ought to be able to give you more details of both TVS and CS Santosh's involvement in the Dakar Rally. Look out for more updates on overdrive.in.