Dar es Salaam. Hari Singh Rally team driver Ajminder Dhani tops the overall standings of the 2020 National Rally Championship (NRC).
Dhani, navigated by Manmeet Birdi, has amassed 30 points after winning the first round of the NRC series.
The winner of each NRC series round now gets 30 points instead of 25 as was the case in the past.
This was clarified by Automobile Association of Tanzania (AAT) Rally director Satinder Birdi yesterday.
“So, by winning the first round of this season’s NRC series, Dhani earned 30 points,” he said.
He added: “This is in line with the reviewed rules and regulations of the world’s motorsport governing body – Fia.”
Dhani clocked 40.53.7 minutes to beat other 18 drivers, who competed in the tough but thrilling round a few weeks ago.
The AAT official said motorsport fans should expect major treat in the next rounds of the country’s premier event.
According to Birdi, the second round, which was to take place this month, has been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Birdi said he was optimistic the drivers will abide by all precautionary measures taken by the government to combat Coronavirus.
He urged them and their navigators to be fully committed to the precautionary and preventive measures adopted by the government to curtail the deadly disease.
According to Birdi, Gurpal Singh, who finished second in the first round, sits second with scored 24 points.
Mandeep Singh Dhani, another member of the Hari Singh Rally team, is placed third with 21 points.
Also on the top five are Gurjit Dhani and Randeep Dhani, who sit fourth and fifth with 19 and 17 points respectively.
The other drivers with their points in brackets are Jamil Shahbhai (15), Kelvin Taylor (13), Mussa Mswaki (11) and Rajpal Dhani (9).
“My target is to win the NRC title,” Dhani told The Citizen yesterday.
“I know that the event has attracted a host of top drivers, but I am ready for the challenge,” he added.
He said he was optimistic he will maintain his lead in the remaining six rounds of the NRC series.
Last month, AAT suspended motor rallies in line with the government’s directive to control the spread of Coronavirus.
“We have taken this decision given the need to safeguard the safety and well-being of all our stakeholders, which is paramount,” insisted Birdi.
“We did so in light of the need to observe the government-driven precautionary measures to stem the transmission of the virus,” he added.
The government has suspended all sports activities, including the Mainland Premier League, for a month due the Covid-19.
Worldwide, the Tokyo Olympics is the highest-profile sporting casualty of Coronavirus that has wiped out fixtures across the globe.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were due to open on July 24 this year and run for 16 days, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced the first peacetime postponement of the Games.
The IOC and Japan had for weeks insisted the show could go on but the rapid spread of Coronavirus prompted growing disquiet among athletes and sporting federations.
In a near-simultaneous announcement on Monday, World Athletics said it would now move its world championships, which had been due to take place in Eugene, Oregon, on August 6-15 next year.