After domestic exploits, biker Abdul nurtures Dakar dreams
By Vishal Vivek | Express News Service | Published: 18th July 2017 09:32 AM |
CHITRADURGA: Dakar Rally. These two words send shivers down the spine of the bravest in the business as it is widely considered to be the most dangerous motorsport event in the world. Till now, only two Indian bikers — CS Santosh and KP Aravind — have been able to cross the ‘Dakar’ threshold. This year, an Indian rallyist, Abdul Wahid Tanveer is lurking in the shadows to increase that count to three. In April, the Karnataka lad was placed third at India Baja, a Dakar Challenge event.
It gave him a rare opportunity to participate at the Merzouga and Dakar rallies. He is done with the first one and waiting to go all guns blazing at the 2018 Dakar Rally. Although, his ride is still not confirmed. “After finishing third at India Baja, I was offered a free ticket for both the international rallies. The team (Sherco-TVS) has to decide about ‘Dakar’ now,” Abdul told Express in an exclusive chat.
Currently riding in the ninth edition of the Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare rally, he was placed third at the end of the Leg 1 in the Ultimate Bikes category in Chitradurga on Monday. Though, he was not pleased even after leaving behind 24 bikers. “I am not completely happy with my performance today. I went off route for about 5 km and reached a dead end. My teammate (R Nataraj) followed me and he too got lost.” Surprisingly, Nataraj too managed a good result at the end of a gruelling day, as he was placed second.
Abdul feels navigation is the most important aspect when it comes to rallying at big events like ‘Dakar’. “Since bikers have to ride and pay attention to the GPS and the road book at the same time, it is a bit more difficult,” Abdul, who trained in navigation in Spain this year before finishing 27th at Merzouga, said.
When queried about his target this year, he replied with a gleaming smile, “To get to ride at Dakar 2018.” This year, the ‘Dare’ has attracted more than 170 motorsport enthusiasts from all over the country who will be racing in three categories — Ultimate Cars, Ultimate Bikes and Endurance. The Leg 2 will be held in Chitradurga itself, before the rally proceeds towards Belgaum, Kolhapur and finally Pune on July 21, covering a total distance of 2200 km.
Leg 1 Results: Ultimate Cars: Samrat Yadav and S N Nizami (02:45:26.), Sandeep Sharma and Karan Arya (02:46:35), Suresh Rana and Ashwin Naik ( 02:49:12). Ultimate Bikes: Sanjay Kumar (01:50:08), Nataraj R (01:50:42), Abdul Wahid (01:51:25).