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    Airtel One India Challenge Participants Drive Into Nagpur From Across The North, South, East & West Of The Country
    Announces one of the largest international funding in the telecom sector

    Airtel One India Challenge, a commemoration of Airtel’s presence in all the 23-telecom circles – a tribute to the spirit of “One India, One Airtel”

    As part of the 1st phase, 200 cars with 600 participants were flagged off from New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata & Mumbai representing the Northern, Southern, Eastern & Western states of the country- all drive into Nagpur, the heart of the country.

    Stage now set for the 200 teams representing the different states of the country to battle it out on a 1,300 km journey for Leg II of the Airtel One India Challenge rally

    Participants to leave Nagpur on May 12th, 2005 for Delhi

    Airtel One India Challenge 2005 Rally Organised in association with Federation of Motor Sports Club of India (FMSCI)

    To ensure absolute transparency to the event, leading auditor Ernst & Young have been appointed to provide their expertise.


    Nagpur, 12th May, 2005: The 200 cars with 600 participants in the Airtel One India Challenge, the longest car rally in India, today drove into Nagpur city, the heart of India from the north, south, east & west of the country today. The rallysts representing various Indian states from all the four parts of country made their journey into the city from New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata & Mumbai, covering an average distance of over a 1,000 kms. With the arrival at Nagpur, the rally enthusiasts completed the FIRST Leg of the Airtel One India Challenge car rally.

    Going forward, the 600 participants in 200 cars will now proceed to Delhi for the 2nd stage of the Airtel One India Challenge. The entire entourage of the enthusiastic rally participants, were received in Nagpur by Mr. Vinod Sawhny Executive Director, Western Region Hub, Bharti Cellular Ltd. and Mr. Christopher Tobit, Chief Operating Officer, Maharashtra & Goa circle, Bharti Cellular Ltd.

    According to Mr. Vinod Sawhny Executive Director, Western Region Hub, Bharti Cellular Ltd. “ The Airtel One India Challenge is a commemoration of Airtel’s presence in all the 23-telecom circles. It epitomizes the spirit of “One India, One Airtel”. What makes India’s longest car rally all the more special is the immense response it has generated nationally amongst amateurs - both men and women. My congratulations to all the finishers of the first leg. The stage is now set for the 2nd leg in Delhi with upto Rs 1 crore still waiting to be won.”


    All Set For Second Leg

    Having completed the journey to Nagpur, all the 200 rally teams representing each of the Indian states will now compete for Leg II of the Airtel One India Challenge car rally. Participants will start their journey from Nagpur on May 12th, 2005 to reach Delhi by May 14th, 2005, a journey of approx. 1300 kms. As part of the stage one the three winners from each zone, selected on the basis of the international format of Time, Speed & Distance would be rewarded with cash prizes of Rs. 2 lakh, Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 50,000 respectively.

    Additionally the first three winners of the second leg in Delhi will then be awarded cash prizes of Rs 4 lakh, Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 1 lakh respectively. On reaching Delhi, as part of a grand finale the over all winners of the Airtel One India Challenge would also be awarded the grand prize of Rs 30 lakh, Rs 15 lakh and Rs 8 lakh respectively. Other winners, including participants securing 4th till the 10th position also get to win prizes ranging from Rs 1.5 lakhs to Rs 50,000. In-addition, all drivers finishing the race in Delhi on 14th May ‘05 would also get a finishers prize money of Rs.10,000.



    How It All Began

    As part of the celebrations, participation in the car rally was invited from everyone (residing in each of the Indian states) to test their driving skills. A gruelling qualification process was then organised between 23rd April ’05 till 1st May ‘05 in 21 cities across India including Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Srinagar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Lucknow and Jaipur. A maximum of 200 teams (3 participants in each car) were then selected, jointly by a panel consisting of officials from *Federation of Motor Sports Club of India (FMSCI) and Ernst & Young. The stage was set for all the 600 participants, representing their respective states to battle it out for a total prize money of Rupees One Crore. The 7,000 km Airtel One India Challenge is by far the longest car rally in the country, offering the biggest prize money ever in the history of Indian motor sports.


    The Involvement Of Technology

    All the 200 participating teams, using Sony Ericsson handsets are connected with their near and dear ones through the Airtel “All India Network”. It is also for the first time in the history of Indian motor sports that the most sophisticated, Hi-tech GPS on-board data loggers have been installed to track and monitor all participating cars. The on board computer in these Hi-tech GPS data loggers randomly generates virtual time controls, which is then used to eliminate human errors to track and collate the winner results.


    The only national federation recognised by the Government of India for the promotion and control of motor sports in India


    Thanks To Our Partners

    To ensure the success of the Airtel One India Challenge, Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) would provide the technical expertise for the rally. To ensure absolute transparency for declaring the winners, Ernst & Young would provide the critical audit support. Other partners include Apollo Tyres Ltd, one of the largest tyre manufacturers in India; Ericsson world’s leading telecom infrastructure company and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited. The entire on-ground event would be nationally managed by Percept D’Mark.


    About FMSCI:

    The Federation of Motor Sports clubs of India (FMSCI) was founded in 1971 and is a long-standing member of the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA) the world bodies for 2/3 and 4 wheeler motor sport respectively. The FMSCI is the only national sports federation recognized by the Government of India for the promotion and control of motor sports in India, and is affiliated to the prestigious Indian Olympic Association. For more information, visit www.fmsci.org


    About Bharti:

    Bharti Tele-Ventures is one of India’s leading private sector provider of Tele-communications services with an aggregate of 12.26 million customers as of end of April ‘05, consisting of approximately 11.39 million mobile customers. The company today offers mobile services in 23 out of 23 circles in India. The company also provides fixed - line services and Internet access over DSL in 6 circles. The company complements its mobile and fixed-line services with national and international long distance services. The company also has a submarine cable landing station at Chennai, which connects the submarine cable connecting Chennai and Singapore. The company provides reliable end-to-end data and enterprise services to the corporate customers by leveraging its nationwide fiber optic backbone, last mile connectivity in fixed-line and mobile circles, VSATs, ISP and international bandwidth access through the gateways and landing station. For more information, visit www.bhartiteleventures.com

    For any further information please contact:


     Namita Soni

     PR Manager, Bharti Cellular Ltd. Mah & Goa