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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pit stops, but no prizes in this rally

The first `Indian Autorickshaw Challenge' is for those 18 and above, ready to drive wi-fi enabled Bajaj RE two-stroke machines splashed with bright paint — but there are no prizes.

"It is not a speed rally. There is no prize. All participants will get a certificate of participation," said the organisers; the idea is to familiarise the predominantly foreign participants with India and Tamil Nadu's culture, the local cuisine and the works.

Pit stops include Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Madurai, Tuticorin, and Courtallam.
According to organiser Aravind Kumar, the challenge has drawn enough participants for them to close the entry. While those from the U.K., the United States, Armenia, Russia, Hungary and other countries paid 1,000 euros as participation fee, Indians paid Rs. 50,000.

Aravind Kumar and company told media persons on Monday that the entry fee was fixed on the higher side to bring in "quality" participants and thus ensure a "world class rally." The rally will begin from Chsennai on August 21.

It will cover nearly 10,000 km and end at Kanyakumari seven days later. If the participants choose, the organisers will make the vehicle GPS (global positioning system) or wi-fi enabled.

The proceeds will go to help local charities fighting child abuse. Those who still want to be part of the auto challenge could bring any vehicle by paying Rs. 7,000 (Chennai-Pondicherry) and Rs. 5,000 (other sectors) one day before the rally. For details, call 044-42143343/42317359.

Source: The Hindu

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