INRC Coimbatore Rally 2019: Chetan Shivram leads day one
The round two of FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2019 is underway in Coimbatore. Chetan Shivram of Akshara Racing, clocked a total time of 1:05:32 (hr:mm:ss) after five special stages, leading privateer Suhem Kabeer by an extremely close margin of just a second (1:05:33). Both the leaders were aboard the rally spec Volkswagen Polo. Finishing day one in third place was Race Concepts Motorsport's Younus Ilyas along with co-driver Harish Gowda in their bright yellow rally spec Mitsubishi Cedia.
Drama unfolded late on day one as Gaurav Gill, in his petrol powered Super XUV300 was leading in the first three special stages and looked determined to finish the day on top. In three stages he gathered a lead of almost two minutes. Unfortunately, mid-way during stage four, Gill's car suffered a puncture and also a broken front control arm of one of the tyres. This instantly put him out of contention for the top spot in the rally.
“After continuous rainfall last night, it suddenly became sunny in the morning leading to the surface becoming really hard. There were stones all over the stages which made it difficult. I am obviously not happy with my current scenario but would say that I would take it as a learning experience and I will bounce back strong,” said Gill after the end of day one. He is just back from a triumphant performance at the Dakshin Dare rally and is also one of the favorites at this year's Coimbatore Rally.
His teammate Amittrajit Ghosh, with co-driver Ashwin Naik, who were aboard a rally spec Super XUV300 diesel also suffered an unfortunate blow as their car suffered an unknown glitch in the middle of the final stage of day one of the rally. Another promising contender, Karna Kadur along with co-driver Nikhil Pai in their Arka Motorsports' VW Polo had a rough day as they fell out of contention after the third stage. Dean Mascarenhas, who displayed a stellar performance at the INRC Round one in Chennai, managed to finish day one but his car got stuck in slush in the second special stage and that hurt him badly, sliding him to the 20th position from the 4th spot that he earned in the first stage.
Out of the record 65 entries that the Coimbatore Rally received this year, 59 participants qualified to enter. But 33 of them had to retire on day one itself due to various reasons, which is a very rare case scenario at the INRC. Let's see what kind of action awaits us on the ultimate day of the INRC Coimbatore Rally 2019. Stay tuned.