The annual Gulf Monsoon Scooter Rally concluded recently and Syed Asif Ali of TVS Racing emerged victorious. The Bangalore-based rider rode a brilliant race and managed to fend challenges from Shamim Khan, who won the rally in 2015. Khan, in fact, has won the rally on four occasions and was piped as a strong contender for the title this year.
Asif Ali was astride an 110cc TVS Wego and clocked a time of 32.43 seconds in penalties. Shamim Khan, on the new Mahindra Gusto 125, was slower by a mere 0.93 seconds. Erimal Shekharan, riding a Yamaha Alpha, finished third in 34.18 seconds. The trio were competing in the FSG up to 160cc four-stroke class and were declared the overall winners.
The 27th edition of the Gulf Monsoon Scooter Rally saw 53 riders battle it out on a treacherous course replete with slush, mud, gravel, potholes and everything that one can think about a road ravaged by the monsoons. Held around the backwoods of Navi Mumbai, a few participants found the going pretty tough. There were more than a few instances of riders falling off. Some sections were very bumpy and tested the limits of both rider and machine.
‚ÄúThis time the course was really tough. In addition to the slushy areas, we had a couple of trucks coming in our way and forcing us to slow down. It did not rain heavily during the race, but still it was challenging,‚ÄĚ said Syed Asif Ali after the event. The track consisted of steep inclines, hairpin turns and water-logged sections.
Nidhi Shukla from team Ceat was the best lady rider, managing to complete the course in 45.20 seconds. Given the nature of the competition, it was indeed a commendable effort by Nidhi.
In the S1 category for two-stroke scooters from 81cc to 110cc, Rohan Thakur from Mumbai took the top honour. He set a time of 36.54 seconds aboard his Kinetic Marvel. Former champion Manjit Singh Basan won the S2 Class ‚ÄĒ 111cc to 160cc two-stroke ‚ÄĒ setting a time of 37.14 seconds. Basan rode brilliantly, stretching a 6.44-second lead over the next rider.
The event also turned out to be a platform for youngsters and newbies to showcase their talent. Mohsin Mehboob Faki was the exceptional talent amongst the lot, setting an impressive time of 37.18 seconds. He was presented the Late Firdoosh Vajifdar trophy in recognition of his achievement.