BENGALURU: Thirty two selected riders from India will feature in the first edition of the Ace of Dirt at the Big Rock Dirtpark on the outskirts of the city on Thursday. The first-of-its-kind race has an interesting format in place, where different off-road disciplines are set to come together, with riders battling it out in an elimination format to be the last man standing. The winner will get an opportunity to train with C S Santosh, who is India’s first ever Dakar Rally finisher.
These participants come from different disciplines, like cross-country rallies, short dirt tracks, motor cross, etc. The riders, some of whom have competed in national and local races, are divided into eight groups of four, which kickstarts the knockout stages. Santosh said the riders will use similar bikes –Hero Xpulse bikes – from the semis. There will be eight riders in the semis while four will slog it out in the finals.
“When that switch (of bikes) is made in the semifinals, identical bikes mean that any advantage or disadvantage of their earlier bikes will be eliminated. And then it is just the driver, competing in a similar machine against other competitors, which should be exciting,” Santosh, the brain behind the race, told reporters.
Irrespective of the bike that one is using, their skills are going to be tested to the hilt with a number of obstacles, including handmade ones too, that have been planned.“Racing is fun when you have people competing for a single spot. There are different obstacles. You will see them taking different lines – one could be fast and the other, slow. It also depends on how the rider manages the track so all these obstacles have been built in such a way that there are options. Riders have to be smart and know where they should
push, use techniques, etc. These obstacles are going to be fun,” said Santosh.