Gill siz­zles in Coim­bat­ore heat

The APRC cham­pion wins the first na­tional rally of the year


AF­TER MISS­ING OUT ON the na­tional title for a cou­ple of sea­sons in a row, Gaurav Gill (with co-driver Musa Sherif) has be­gun the 2017 INRC sea­son on the best note by notch­ing up the win in Coim­bat­ore. Driv­ing the Mahin­dra Su­perXUV, Gill was the fastest man on all stages. Held near the wind­farms on the out­skirts of Coim­bat­ore, the rally ran the tra­di­tional two stages for three loops.

The 2017 sea­son also had a few rule changes re­gard­ing the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the ve­hi­cles with the four-wheel drive cars now run­ning in the IRC class, which is a con­cur­rently run cup and not a cham­pi­onship. The INRC will con­tinue to ex­ist as al­ways with the for­ma­tion of a step-up INRC 2 class which al­lows Group N cars to be mod­i­fied to a limit. The INRC 2000 would now be called as the INRC 3 class.

It was all guns blaz­ing from Gill this year as a trans­port stage me­chan­i­cal fail­ure rued his chances of a de­cent per­for­mance in 2016. Gill glided through the five stages with ease, com­plet­ing the rally in an hour and 36.4 sec­onds. The 2016 INRC cham­pion Karna Kadur (with co-driver Nikhil Pai) could not man­age to keep pace with Gill in their Volk­swa­gen Polo but nev­er­the­less man­aged to come sec­ond over­all, win­ning the INRC 2 class. Gill’s team­mate Amit­tra­jit Ghosh (with co-driver Ash­win Naik) were ham­pered with a me­chan­i­cal fail­ure on their Su­perXUV, sol­dier­ing on to climb onto the fi­nal step of the podium.

As men­tioned ear­lier, Kadur was the vic­tor in the INRC 2 class with team­mate Rahul Kan­thraj (with co-driver Vivek Y Bhatt) com­ing home sec­ond in the Mit­subishi Ce­dia. Younus Ilyas (with co-driver Har­ish Ku­mar) brought their Ce­dia across the line in third in the cat­e­gory.

Dean Mas­caren­has (with co-driver Shruptha Padi­val) man­aged to win the INRC 3 class in their Polo from the Polo of Daraius Shroff (with co-driver Nitin Ja­cob) and the Mit­subishi Ce­dia of Dhruva Chan­drasekar (with co-driver Jee­varathi­nam).

In the bat­tle of the old horses, the Honda City of Fabid Ahmer (with co-driver Ar­jun SSB) was crowned the win­ner of the FMSCI 2WD Cup, with Nithin Lukose (with co-driver Raghu­ram Swami­nathan) driv­ing the Maruti Es­teem com­ing in sec­ond. Prem­nath Kasi­nath (with co­driver Su­raj M) claim­ing third in his City.

Rains have caused the or­gan­is­ers to post­pone the sec­ond rally of the year in Chen­nai in­def­i­nitely. The next event is sched­uled for Jaipur, fol­lowed by Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh. ⌧

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