Lhakpa Tsering makes maiden foray into int’l rally

LOPBURI, 19 May: Veteran rally racer from Arunachal Pradesh, Lhakpa Tsering made a stunning maiden foray into the international rally scene, partnering with experienced navigator Musa Sherif from Kerala, who is a veteran racer of 314 international and national rallies and seven-time Indian National Rally champion.

The team showcased remarkable skill and endurance and secured 6th place in the Extreme T1 category among 19 entries from Thailand, Japan, Australia and India, at the Thailand Rally Raid Championship (TRRC) 2024, Round 2, held in Lobpuri province in Thailand from 18 to 19 May.

Sponsored by JK Tyre Motorsports and local entrepreneur of Arunachal, GR Construction, the team demonstrated exceptional adaptability and resilience, driving over 200 kilometres of tough stages, where they faced extreme heat and intense thunderstorms.

The event, held for two gruelling days, tested the participants with its challenging terrain and extreme weather conditions. The rally featured 19 entries and over 200 kilometres of tough stages of demanding route, riddled with dips and ruts, making for an arduous competition.

Inside the car, the temperature reached a scorching 50 degrees Celsius, while the outside temperature soared to 42 degrees Celsius.

Despite coming from a cold Himalayan region of India, Tsering, along with navigator cum co-driver Sherif, performed admirably under harsh conditions and secured 6th place in Extreme T1 and overall 12th place in the two-day competition.

The rally was ultimately won by a Thai team from Toyota Gazoo Racing Thailand, who completed the course in a cumulative time of 1:54:24 hours.

Tsering, who is the president of the Motorsports Club of Arunachal, expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance. He noted that participating in such an event was a completely new experience, and expressed hope that he would be able to organise international events of this stature in Arunachal soon.

On the sidelines of the event, Tsering had a significant meeting with members of the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand and the organisers of the Asia Cross Country Rally, to discusspotential collaboration in the coming years. The meeting was aimed at reviving the Himalayan Rally in India, with plans to relaunch it in 2025.