CS Santosh – that is probably the first name that most Indians think of when someone mentions the Dakar Rally. After all, Santosh was the one who put India on the Dakar map. But what is the Dakar Rally about? Put simply, it is an off-road endurance event in which participants cover 800 to 900 kilometers a day through much more difficult terrain than in conventional rallies. The Dakar Rally has been around since 1977, but it wasn’t until 2015, after almost four decades, that India set the tone at the rally. This is courtesy of CS Santosh, who became the first Indian to win the race in 36th place. finishedthat Position. And that’s nothing short of a big win for a rookie, considering how exhausting the rally really is. But that was just the beginning. Let’s look at all the feathers on India’s hat since then.
In 2015, the same year Santosh broke new ground, TVS, based in Chennai, partnered with Sherco Racing, a French and Spanish bicycle manufacturer. At the rally, Sherco-TVS representatives, Alain Duclos and Fabien Planet, 25that and 29that, or.
In 2016, things started to develop for Bangalore-born CS Santosh. This year, Suzuki Europe decided to support the budding rally driver for the Dakar. Unfortunately, he had to end the race early because of a major technical defect on his motorcycle. However, Sherco TVS drivers made it to 23. to endapprox and 27that, save the day for India.
2017 was a big year for India. The first Indian manufacturer and driver came together as a team to compete in the irreconcilable Dakar Rally. Hero MotoCorp has teamed up with Speedbrain GmbH, a German off-road racing specialist responsible for the development of the BMW G 450 and the Husqvarna TE 449 RR. After the tie-up, the Hero MotoSports team was born along with the Hero 450RR, which is essentially an updated version of the Speedbrian 450 Rally. With a brilliant bike available from Hero, the company passed the baton to three rider ace – Oriol Mena Valdearcos, Joaquim Rodrigues (JRod) and CS Santosh. So it’s no wonder that all three drivers crossed the finish line in one go with their respective motorcycles. Of the trio, JRod finished the race with a commendable 10th place. CS Santosh finished 47th and was the only Indian driver to finish the Dakar Rally that year, which is an achievement in itself. At the TVS camp, Joan Pedero and Adrien Metge finished 13that and 22nd, or in the same year Aravind KP from TVS Racing signed up for the team and made his debut. However, he had to give up prematurely due to an injury.
In 2018, Hero MotoCorp riders Oriol Mena and CS Santosh crossed the finish line in a respectable 7 inchesthat and 34that Positions. Meanwhile, Sherco TVS driver Juan Pedrero also took 11th placethat Position.
The world took a nasty pause shortly afterwards and the Dakar Rally could not be held for two years. Fast forward to 2021, fans could feel their knees pounding when CS Santosh had an almost fatal crash in phase 4. But that didn’t stop India from making a name for itself in the campaign. Harith Noah made it on his second Dakar excursion, 20th to endthat at the end of the 12th stage. He is the only Indian who has finished the race of the season.
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