New Delhi: Multiple National Racing and Rally Champion, Amittrajit Ghosh, will become the first Indian to compete in the prestigious FIA European Rally Championship.
Team RRPM announced this on Tuesday, revealing that their star driver will begin his campaign in Round 3 of the Championship, the EKO Acropolis Rally 2018, to be held around the city of Lamia in Greece from June 1 to 3.
The Kolkata lad, who will have long time co-driver Ashwin Naik by his side, has decided to take part in a few carefully chosen rounds of the ERC to gain experience at this level of rallying.
Speaking from London, where he is based now, Amittrajit, also a Team Mahindra Adventure driver in the MRF FMSCI INRC 2018, said, “It is a proud moment for us to become the first Indian driver, co-driver and team to be competing in the ERC, second only to the World Rally Championship.”
He added, “Our aim will be to gather valuable miles and experience through this year, in preparation for an all-out assault in the next. I want to thank RRPM for getting us here and our new sponsor, Pana Education, for coming on board at this important juncture of our career.”
Amittrajit who has won the Indian National Rally Championship twice (2012 & 2013) and the Indian National Racing Championship once (2005) besides winning the MRF Racing Challenge and the Indian National Rally Championship in the 1400cc category, also has the distinction of becoming the first Indian to gain a class podium in his maiden attempt in the British Rally Championship.
The Indian team will be driving a Ford Fiesta R2 car in the ERC 3 category. The car is powered by a 170 bhp engine mated to a five-speed sequential gearbox. The car is also equipped with adjustable Reiger dampers, Eibach springs and AP Racing brakes. Servicing and running of the car will be undertaken by Baltic Motorsport Promotion, a renowned motorsport company from Latvia.
In preparation for the demanding ERC, Amittrajit will take part in Rally Talsi 2018, a round of the Latvian Rally Championship, later this week.
Amittrajit said, “I am treating Rally Talsi as a test event to get used to the car. Like they say, there is no better practice than match practice.”
Amittrajit is also looking to participate in a few rounds of the World Rally Championship this year. However, he pointed out that the WRC plans were still being firmed up and that he will make the announcement once things become a little more concrete.