Gaurav Gill repeats the feat at Itanagar
The JK Tyre rallyist continued his winning streak, claiming the second Rally of Arunachal round of the Indian National Rally Championship 2020
The JK Tyre duo of Gaurav Gill and Musa Sherif continued with their momentum from the first round, posting a total time of 42:15.00 minutes to stamp their dominance at Itanagar once again in the second round of the Rally of Arunachal.
Expertly piloting the XUV300, they opened up a considerable gap of about 1:51 minutes in the two initial night stages on Saturday, and fervently held onto this lead to win all the six special stages including four night stages to consolidate his position at the top of the leaderboard. Meanwhile, their JK Tyre teammate Amittrajit Ghosh (with Ashwin Naik) made the most of the Mahindra 1.2 turbo-petrol’s immense power to bag the second spot, posting an overall time of 43.48.1 minutes.
After battling car troubles for the longest time last year, a visibly excited Amittrajit said, "It feels good to be rallying again more than anything. With the Covid situation and then Mahindra pulling out, it was a tricky situation. But with JK Tyre and Mahindra’s support things eventually fell in place,” adding, “It was a great round for me because after a long time I made it to the podium. And a lot of credit has to go to the car for the way it behaved. It is much better than what I used to drive in Europe and finally I am so happy to be driving a proper rally car in India,” he further added.
With Amittrajit in P2, MRF Tyres’ Karna Kadur (with Nikhil V Pai) had to contend with third place, posting a time of 44:57.3 minutes. Nevertheless, his runner-up spot in the first round has him at the overall second place on the points table.
In the INRC 2 category, the podium sequence from the first Rally of Arunachal was repeated this time around as well, with Dean Mascarenhas (with Shruptha Padival) completing the six special stages with a total time of 45:38.6 minutes and taking the top spot, followed by Snap Racing's Sahil Khanna (with Vidit Jain) who took 47.42.0 minutes, and Rahul Kanthraj (with Vivek Y Bhat) coming in third with an overall time of 47:48.8 minutes.
Moving to the INRC 3 category, Aditya Thakur (with Virendra Kashyap) of Team Nutulapati set a total time of 47.24.5 minutes to snatch the lead, followed by Fabid Ajmer ( and Eldo Chacko) and their time of 47:30.8 minutes. Last time’s INRC 3 winner Maninder Singh Prince (with navigator Vinay Padmasali) came in third with a total time of 48:06.4 minutes.
Mujeeb Rahman (with Goutham CP) led in the INRC 4 category with a 50.42.300-minute time, while last year’s winner Vaibhav Marathe (co-driver Suhan M K), driving for Yokohama Tyres, took the second place with a time of 51:28.500 minutes. Rohith Iyer (and M Manjunath) came in third after registering a time of 54:21.600 minutes.
In the Junior INRC category, Harikrishna Wadia (with Chirag Thakur) claimed the top position for their performance of 48:28.21 minutes, followed by Team Yokohama’s Arjun (and Shanmuga S N) who took 48:58.9 minutes to complete their campaign. Team Vasundhara’s Pragathi Gowda and her co-driver Deeksha Balakrishna driving on MRF Tyres impressed yet again, finishing third with a total time of 49:37.7 minutes.
Additionally, emerging from the previous round’s DNF, last year’s winner Chetan Shivram (with Rupesh Kholay), started the round with a stock engine car, despite which they finished a commendable P13 overall, scoring valuable points.
The provisional top ten results of the second round are as follows:
The excitement will now take a two-week break, resuming at Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) on January 9 -10 for a gravel-based format. Also, with two rounds done, the close competition between the JK and MRF cars is close to fever pitch; the time is ripe to choose: Yellow or Red!