India's first international car rally began on Saturday (18 October).
GV Prakash P. Kulkhali driver of car 54 getting into his Fiat at the a start of rally in Bombay, India.
GV PAN Cars preparing to start rally.
GV PAN Cars lined up at the start of rally.
GV Shekhar Mehta and Doctor Lofty Drews in an Opel Ascona at the start of the rally leaving the starting gate. (4 SHOTS)
SV Car 2 of the German Castrol team leaving gate. Car 4, female German Castrol team in Toyota, leaving. (2 SHOTS)
SV Car 8 and car 19 leaving stadium. (2 SHOTS)
SV PAN Car 22 into starting gate and out of stadium. (3 SHOTS)
TV TILT DOWN Car 17 in crowded street. (3 SHOTS)
SV PAN Car 64 on open road outside city.
SPORT: CAR RALLYING
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Background: India's first international car rally began on Saturday (18 October). The seven-day Himalayan Rally which will take its place among the most difficult in the world drew a total of 84 cars of 29 makes for its inaugural competition. Some of the world's best drivers from Germany, England, Kenya, Austria, Malaysia, Australia and India took up the challenge of the gruelling 3200 mile (5100 km) race.
SYNOPSIS: Prakash P. Kulkhali in a Fiat was one of many Indian competitors.
The rally started from the Brabourne Stadium in Bombay with cars flagged off at intervals of two minutes.
Three-time Kenyan Rally winner, Shekhar Mehta with co-driver Lofty Drews, in their Opel Ascona, were the first to be flagged off. The next-day demonstrators smashed the windows of Mehta and other drivers, in protest at the rally's alleged waste of fuel and money.
The men of the German Castrol team, Achim Warmbold and Wolfgang Inhester were followed away by Marianne Hospfner, current Women's Rally champion and co-driver Oda Dencker??? Andersen. Both teams drove Toyota Celicas.
The rally route seen as one of the world's most challenging will take the cars from Bombay across forests and the craggy hills of Madya Pradesh before hitting the desert heartlands and the plains. Then they head for the hills into the heights of the Himalayas before returning to the plains and the finish line in Delhi on 25 October.
The rally's main sponsor is Air India, which flew in the drivers and cars. Crowds lined the route to see some of the world's top drivers in action. But they won't see the "Flying Sikh" Joginder Singh of Kenya, who pulled out of the event after a difference of opinion with his German co-driver Albert Pihul.