N°50 Bike HERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY
driver
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SANTOSH CHUNCHUNGUPPE SHIVASHANKAR

(ind) Born on 01/12/1983 1.82m / 72kg

Sponsors

Red Bull, Hero, Sidvin, Fast Indian, Scott, Track&Trail, Cannondale

Website

2019: Ab. Stage 5
2018: 34th
2017: 47th
2016: Ab. Stage 4
2015: 36th

2019: Morocco Rally (28th), Panafrican Rally, Baja Espana
2018: Merzouga Rally (19th), India Baja, Desafio Inca,
2017: Merzouga Rally (17th), Panafrica rally (17th), Morocco Rally (13th)
2016: Merzouga Rally (16th), Morocco Rally, India Baja (1st), Indian Desert Storm
2015: Desert Storm in India
2014 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Qatar Rally, Morocco Rally

Interview

“I expect to see Indian fans on the stages”

In the Dakar’s 40 years of history, Santosh Chunchunguppe Shivashankar will be remembered as the first ever Indian competitor to take part in the event. It was back in 2015 and not only did the man known as “CS Santosh” start and finish the rally. He also managed to raise enough awareness back home to seduce Hero, the biggest selling motorcycle brand in India. Five years after his debut, the rider from Bangalore has finished three out of five Dakar rallies managing his best performance (34th) in 2018. His most recent appearance unfortunately ended as soon as day 5 after a severe crash. The 36-year-old returns in an even stronger Hero team thanks to the arrival of experienced Paulo Gonçalves (2nd of the Dakar in 2015). A recruitment that delights the Indian eager to carry on learning. On a new territory, closer to India, he also knows he’ll be a lot more followed by both the media and the huge Indian community living in Saudi Arabia.

“Funnily I never watched any motorsports before the age of 16. I have absolutely no motorsports background in my family. I was raised to go to college and probably work in software. Then my dad bought me a bike to go to school and that’s when my love of riding really started. Racing probably saved me from getting into trouble. It gave me something to focus on with passion. As a kid, while growing up, I remember being fascinated by adventure, and that fascination continues to this day. Last year I started really well with a 20th spot on day 1 but had to quit after crashing during stage 5. I say this every year but I’m still hoping to finish in the Top 20. I’m still chasing that number but of course I have to start by finishing. The fact of going on unknown territory is really interesting. We won’t just have dunes but also a lot of rocky tracks. I have to adapt to different conditions. To win you need to be a good overall rider. Saudi Arabia is a lot closer to India and the time difference is the same. I know that there will be a lot more media attention and I also expect to see quite a few Indian fans on the stages. Having Paulo (Gonçalves) with us gives the team more ambition. I learn a lot from him, not just on the technical side but also on the bike setting.”

Vehicle

HERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY

  • Mark : HERO
  • Model : 450 RALLY
  • Performance tuner : HERO
  • Assistance : HERO
  • Class : G2.1 Super production

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