Despite angry protests over petrol wastage, Shekhar Mehta of Kenya has been declared the winner of the First himalayan Car Rally.
SV Car No. 4 Toyota Celica, driven by German team driver Oda Denker arrives in New Delhi, with protective screens on front and side windows, during Himalayan Car Rally
CU ZOOM OUT FROM Wire mesh on another car
GV Datsun No. 5 with protective screens shielding windows
SV Car No. 19 with broken side windows taped up
GV Rally cars pass through New Delhi
GV Cars refuelling (2 shots)
CU Shekhar Mehta of Kenya speaks to reporter in English
GV Cars arrive at last stage of rally and drive towards stadium
SV Winning driver in Car No. 1 Mehta, is escorted into stadium (2 shots)
SV Crowds look on
CU Winner climbs on to car bonnet and is cheered by crowd
GV Car arrives for second place, driven by Dr. Marianne Hoepfner
CU German team congratulated
CU Mehta, the winner, speaks to reporter after the rally, in English
MEHTA: "The rally has gone off very well. It's just unfortunate that a handful of people made a mess of it for everybody."
MEHTA: "Well you have rallies with longer race than that, the point being that you can never say that the incidents that have happened in the first leg, first and second leg, was something that people were looking forward to. It was a disaster."
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Background: Despite angry protests over petrol wastage, Shekhar Mehta of Kenya has been declared the winner of the First himalayan Car Rally. Part of the event was cancelled when drivers' lives were threatened by stone throwing mobs. mehta led from the start, until the hostility of the population led to cancellation of the final stage.
SYNOPSIS: Several drivers were injured and their cars damaged by stone-throwing demonstrators during the rally's second stage. Shields, normally reserved for head lamps, were adapted to protect windshields and windows as the protests continued.
The rally was delayed for a day at Agra, as repairs were carried out. Most of the trouble had occurred as the drivers negotiated stages in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The eventual winner, Kenyan Shekhar Mehta had this reaction:
Forty-seven cars resumed the rally, under strict security through Delhi. Most were escorted by police vehicles along the route. The rally had been terminated at Narkanda instead of New Delhi. Riot police were posted along the route.
The National Stadium in Delhi marked the end for the event for the victorious Mehta, who's also won the Kenyan rally on three occasions. However, all his expertise and the skill of the other competitors couldn't match the hostility of the population.
Mehta's triumph might never have been. the protestors had threatened to block roads with carts, in their bid to conserve petrol. A German team led by Dr. Marianne Hoepfner was also given a warm welcome in second place.
Mehta was asked whether the rally was long enough for him.