Bengaluru, June 2: Reigning national champion Rahul Kanthraj and his Team Yokohama are hoping all the hard work pays off in the new season of FMSCI (The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India) Indian Rally Championship (IRC) which starts this month in Nashik (June 11 to 14).
One of India's top rally drivers Rahul and his co-driver Vivek Bhatt will continue their association with Team Yokohama and are aiming to repeat last year's performance when they took the title in 2000 CC category.
This year's IRC will have 5 rounds. The opening leg in Goa was cancelled and the season begins in Nashik next week.
Team Yokohama today unveiled their cars for the 2015 season with their top driver Rahul expressing confidence in doing well.
"We began preparations in March this year and have put in a lot of hard work. Hopefully, the results will show in Nashik and in the later rounds," the 40-year-old said on Tuesday here.
Team Yokohama will compete in 1600 and 2000 CC categories of IRC. Rahul and Vivek will be driving a Mitsubishi Cedia, competing in 2000 CC and Karna Kadur, with co-driver M Chandrashekar will be seen in action in 1600 CC in a Volkswagen Polo.
Yokohama is also supporting Prithvi Domnic (co-driver Pruthvi Ithal in 2000 CC). Domnic is a Yokohama YCN dealer in Bengaluru as well as a motor sports enthusiast.
Takeshi Harada, Director (Sales and Marketing),Yokohama India Private Limited, said, "Yokohama has been part of motor sports events the world over. I would also like to mention the completion of 10 years as a sole Tyre supplier to WTCC, an FIA World Championship, this is a proud moment. Therefore, for us participating in the IRC was a foregone conclusion as Motorsports is today part of the Yokohama philosophy".
"The launch of Team Yokohama is a proud moment, we have been providing Tyre support and participating for various Motorsports events in India since 2008 and excellent results have encouraged us to continue in this course," said Sanjay Chatterjee, General Manager, Yokohama India Pvt Ltd.
From 2008 to 2010 Yokohama had been the official tyre partner to Red Rooster Racing for Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) events. The results during that partnership were encouraging. Since 2008 year after year Yokohama Tyre supported cars have always found place on the Podium at Raid De Himalaya, one of the toughest rallies.
The duo of Rahul and Vivek started rallying in the year 2000 and has participated in over 75 rallies. Together they have won 4 Group and National championships and finished runners up on 4 other occasions.
Participating in the 1600 CC Category, Karna, who has been part of over 95 (2 and 4 wheeler) events and has won 2 National Championship titles and 12 National event wins. He has had 80 podium finishes with his co-driver Chandrashekar.