The fifth edition of the Biswa Bangla JK Tyre Himalayan Drive, which this time involves Nepal and Bhutan making it a tri-nation affair, was flagged off here on Saturday by Siliguri police commissioner Chiling S. Lepcha.
The fifth edition of the Biswa Bangla JK Tyre Himalayan Drive, which this time involves Nepal and Bhutan making it a tri-nation affair, was flagged off here on Saturday by Siliguri police commissioner Chiling S. Lepcha. A total 47 rallyists across three categories — national, open and closed invitational class category (Indo-Bhutan) will take part in the event. The 18 under the national bracket, who are professional rallyists, and the other 18 in the open category, mostly having local participants who are non-professionals, will vie for top honours. The 11 under the invitational umbrella will only be part of the India-Bhutan stretch of the rally.
Four cars from Nepal will also be part of the open category, the first time foreign vehicles are taking part in the event.
The drive will commence from from Siliguri early on Sunday and race through the Dooars area before crossing the international border to enter Bhutan.
The second day will be a lean one from Paro to Dochula Pass covering about 90 kilometres with day three being the most challenging where participants will have to cover approximately 350 kms travelling from Paro to Darjeeling.
The highest point in the rally route is 3,100 metres on the Dochula pass within Bhutan on the road from Thimpu to Punakha.
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All three category participants will have the same travelling distance with the difference lying in the cars and penalties in the Time Speed Distance (TSD) format.
In the open category, the cars would be stock ones which are not souped up like their national counterparts.
The difference between the top three drivers is thirty seconds.