Chetan Shivram wins the INRC Coimbatore Rally 2019
After a day full of unexpected and dramatic turn of events where most INRC class cars retired due to mechanical problems, the Coimbatore Rally has finally concluded following a number of stellar performances. With hot favourites like Gaurav Gill, Amittrajit Ghosh and Karna Kadur not finishing day one, the INRC two and three cars took over the Coimbatore Rally in the final stages.
Chetan Shivram along with brother and co-driver Dilip Sharan clocked the best overall timing, winning the INRC Coimbatore Rally 2019. He was rallying for Team Akshara driving the INRC 3 spec Volkswagen Polo. Finishing second was Race Concepts Motorsport's Younus Ilyas along with navigator Harish Gowda in their Joel Joseph tuned Mitsubishi Cedia. Team Champions, who are supported by the Champions Group, the new promoter of INRC this year, fielded 22 teams with one of them also earning a podium finish. Fabid Ahmer and co-driver Sanath G in their VW Polo kept up with Younus and Harish and finished just one second behind them, in the third position. While Younus and Chetan also bagged the top spot in the INRC two and three categories, the INRC 4 class was won by Vaibhav Marate and Arjun SSB for the second consecutive time. There was also an SUV challenge which was won by Lokesh Gowda and Sudhindra BG in their first generation Honda CR-V. They too were running for Team Champions.
"We went flat-out in the first stage on day two as the gap between us and Fabid was really narrow. So we decided to try and increase the gap first and then play safe. Suhem lost a lot of time in that stage, making it just a little easy for us", quoted Chetan after the rally.
There were a record 65 entries for this year's INRC Coimbatore Rally. But however, due to varied reasons, as many as 33 cars retired including the one of six time INRC champ Gaurav Gill who faced a puncture and a broken front suspension control arm during stage four.