7th JK Tyre Hornbill Motor Rally in Nagaland on December 5, 2014

• Ali, Musthafa start favourites
• Over 40 vehicles in fray

DIMAPUR: The 7th JK Tyre Hornbill Motor Rally was flagged-off here on Thursday with Mr Tovihoto Ayemi, Parliamentary Secretary Information Technology & Communication, Technical Education, Science & Technology and Taxes, doing the honours.

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The JK Tyre Hornbill Motor Rally is organized by the Nagaland Adventure and Motor Sports Association (NAMSA) and coincides with the famous Hornbill Festival of Nagaland, a seven-day extravaganza of cultural performances, ethnic food courts, handlooms and handicrafts bazaars, film and art festivals, fashion shows and National rock music contest.

The JK Tyre Hornbill Rally will conclude on Friday at the Heritage Village, Kasima, the hub of the Festival with Mr TR Zeliang, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Nagaland, giving away the prizes.

JK Tyre nurtured and developed the Hornbill Rally in a bid to provide opportunity to regional motorsports enthusiasts to express their talent and skill, be it driving or navigation. The Rally is now an integral part of the Hornbill Festival.

Over the years, the Hornbill Festival as evolved into a global tourist destination and the event received a massive boost and profile upgrade when Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself inaugurated the 2014 Festival earlier this week. In the past, the Hornbill Festival received endorsement from the President of India.

National championship leaders SK Ajgar Ali and navigator MK Mohammed Musthafa headline the JK Tyre Hornbill Rally which will be run on Friday after Thursday’s ceremonial flag-off.

Ali and Musthafa are the defending champions in the JK Tyre Hornbill Rally which they will start as the hot favourites and currently, they also are heading the FMSCI Indian National TSD Rally Championship.

The JK Tyre Hornbill Rally has attracted over 40 pan-India entries and that include last year’s champions in the amateur class, Nitoka N Chophy and navigator Philip Lam, one of the three entries sponsored by Spearhead Initiative.

TSD (Time Speed Distance) Rally is usually conducted on public roads and following Traffic Rules, but sometimes including off-road and track sections, testing both driving and navigational skill of the crew members.

The objective of the TSD Rally is to maintain precise times and average speeds on various segments of a predefined route. Each team consists of a rider/driver and navigator. The route instructions, known as the Tulip, also provide assigned speeds. As such, participating vehicles do not require any special upgrade by way of safety features such as a roll cage.

Hence, any roadworthy vehicle is eligible to enter a TSD Rally and the crew is not required to don special gear such as fireproof overalls, gloves and helmets, as in a Stage Rally.