With just over a week remaining for their annual signature event - Himalayan Drive 4, Suchandan Das, Director, Just Sportz, is understandably a busy man. However, he squeezed out time for a candid conversation with autojunction.in and gave us a lowdown on Himalayan Drive and the resurrection of motor sports in Bengal.
AJ: Belonging to diverse professional backgrounds, what brought the six of you together to form Just Sportz?
SD: Previously, all six of us were involved with motor sports in various capacities. The passion for motor sports and the intention to do something iconic formed the idea of founding Just Sportz.
AJ: What was the objective and inspiration behind organising the Himalayan Drive?
SD: To promote motor sports was the primary objective. At the same time, our goal was to achieve something remarkably big and enviable. The terrain definitely was an impetus for organising Himalayan Drive.
AJ: A lot of blood and sweat goes into organising a cross-country rally of this magnitude. What are the challenges faced in organsing Himalayan Drive?
SD: Identify safe but challenging routes. Plan and place the logistics in appropriate scale. Arrange huge sponsorships to meet the cost of organizing the event. And finally, to satisfy all the stakeholders.
AJ: What kind of support you have received from the corporate and political circles?
SD: The support from the various government departments has been phenomenal. Himalayan Drive explores the opportunity of adventure sports and also unveils untapped locations to the participants and media. Through this event, local tourism and cultural is highlighted immensely. Hence, various government departments have been associating with us as an event partner. Corporate support is slowly but steadily growing.
AJ: How would you compare Himalayan Drive with other national cross-country rallies?
SD: I don’t intend to compare HD with other events. But I would definitely like to state that after three successful editions, Himalayan Drive has earned an enviable reputation among the competitors, sponsors and media. This year HD is going international. This is a remarkable milestone as no other cross – country rally of India other than ‘Himalayan Drive’ crosses the border of our country!
AJ: What can the competitors expect from Himlayan Drive 4?
SD: One should expect the ultimate thrill and enjoyment of motor sports from HD-4. The route is a mixture of rough, tough and beauty. River beds, mountain roads, tea gardens along with national highways constitute the challenging rally route. Additionally, there is a charm of driving through the river beds of Paro valley and snow covered road to Chelela pass.
AJ: What is your word of advice for novice and first time competitors?
SD: Enjoy the route, drive cautiously and finish safely!
AJ: What is the future plan for the Himalayan Drive nameplate?
SD: There are plenty of plans in the pipeline. We are committed to make ‘Himalayan Drive’ a brand of great repute and be recognized amongst the best in the world in its category. This year Himalayan Drive is going international. We are both excited and proud of achieving this feat.
AJ: How has Just Sportz be instrumental in resurrecting motor sports in Bengal?
SD: Within three years Just Sportz has already made a mark in the motor sports fraternity of India. Just Sportz has already successfully organized a round of National TSD Championship and a zonal championship apart from many more local rallies. Himalayan Drive is acquiring an international tag this year. We have plans to take it to the levels of Himalaya i.e. far above the levels of the others in the category! Surely Bengal will ROAR!
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