Kerala’s iconic motorsport, the Popular Rally, is geared up to roll in December 2018, setting the tarmacs on fire, as ace Rally Drivers vie for the coveted Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) title. After 2010, Kerala is hosting an INRC event for the first time, with Popular Rally being the 5th and last leg of the National Championship this year, certified by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India. After running successfully for 21 years and making a grand comeback last year after a short hiatus, Popular Rally, always enjoys the pride of a place in the hearts of adventure lovers. More so this year, as Popular Rally enters the league of top rallies in the country, as part of the INRC. Announcing the Rally, Mr. John K. Paul, M.D., Popular Vehicles & Services Ltd, said : “ Popular Rally is a matter of great pride for us, not only because we are the only vehicle dealer to have our own Rally, but more so due to the fact that for Keralites, Car Rally means predominantly the Popular Rally. So much is the passion they evince for the event that it drives us even more to carry on its rich legacy, every year in our sports calendar.”
The Rally, being officially flagged off from Hotel Le Meridien, Kochi, in the morning on 13th December 2018, will unfold in 9 special stages on the smooth tarmac in and around the hill town of Kuttikanam in Idukki district on Saturday, the 15th. Two more special stages will follow early morning on Sunday, after which the Rally Drivers will head to Kochi for a Super Special Stage, in the evening. The event will close with the Prize Distribution at Le Meridien the same day, at 7 pm.
Popular Rally 2018 looks forward to the participation of all top rally drivers in the country. Factory teams like Mahindra, Volkswagen and Toyota are expected, along with Team Champions, the current largest team in INRC. Three times Asia-Pacific Rally champion, Gaurav Gill, also currently participating in the WRC2 (World Rally Championship-2 category) and Amittrajit Ghosh, currently driving in European Rally Championship will drive for Team Mahindra. All Champion drivers like Karna Kadur, Dean Mascarenhas, Vikram Rao, Rahul Kanthraj, Arjun Rao are slated to take part. Charge from the Kerala drivers is expected to be led by Dr Bikku Babu, the current National Autocross Racing Champion, along with the rising stars of Kerala rallying and INRC regulars like Younis Ilyas, Jacob K J, Adit K C, Fabid Ahmer, Nibu Sayed and Noufal Sayed.
Organized by Popular Vehicles and Services Ltd under Kuttukaran Group and run by Southern Adventures & Motorsports, Popular Rally 2018 is also backed by Hotel Le Meridien as Hospitality Partner and Medical Trust Hospital as the Medical Partner. Popular Vehicles & Services Ltd counts among the largest dealer networks for Maruti Suzuki in India apart from being the first in Kerala. Akin to car rally being synonymous with Popular Rally in Kerala, Popular is always the first thought among buyers of Maruti cars.