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It was a win-win for Team Mahindra Adventure at the second round of the MRF Rally of Coimbatore stages. Gaurav Gill and co-driver Musa Sherif took an easy lead and won both the special stages on Saturday. Teammate Amittrajit Ghosh, was also on a roll as he finished the stage in only 37:42.8. Amit, has recently won the European Rally Championship round in Greece (ERC 3 class). FMSCI President, Akbar Ebrahim made a comeback to rallying after 25 years and managed to finish in 21st position. The final stages of the rally were held on Sunday in Ketanur, almost 70-kilometres away from Coimbatore.
“I am handling the car a lot more smoothly and am hopeful of continuing in the same vein tomorrow,” said Amittrajit.
The INRC class was led by the Team Mahindra Adventure duo, Gill completed the stage in 37:21.2 putting him ahead of teammate Ghosh who managed it in 37:42.8. Karna Kadur finishes in third. Karna proved his skill again in the INRC 2 class, finishing ahead of Bopiah KM of Team Champions while Phalghuna Urs of Snap Racing rounded off the podium. The INRC 3 class saw Aroor Rao of Falkon Motorsport takes the top spot with Suhem Kabeer trailing for second place finish. Chetan Shivram completes the podium. The two-wheel drive FMSCI class was won by Adith KC, Suraj Tomas and Vikram Gowda take second and third.
Gill, Amittrajit take lead in MRF Rally of Coimbatore, Round 2 of MRF INRC 2018
Coimbatore, August 4: Five-time winner Gaurav Gill cruised into a comfortable lead after Day 1 in the Rally of Coimbatore, Round 2 of the MRF FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship here on Saturday evening.
The Team Mahindra Adventure star, along with his co-driver Musa Sherif, won both the Special Stages of the day in his inimitably aggressive style. He needed just 37:21.2 (18:48.3and 18:32.9) to run through the two stages to set himself up for another victory.
His teammate, Amittrajit Ghosh, was snapping on his heels though, taking only 37:42.8 to finish the day on a high. Amit, who has recently won the European Rally Championship round in Greece (ERC 3 class), seemed a lot more confident as he tackled the dust with great speed and control in his XUV 500.
“I feel very good about my driving at the moment,” Amit said after his run. “I am handling the car a lot more smoothly and am hopeful of continuing in the same vein tomorrow,” he added. He is barely 21.6 seconds behind the leader, putting himself in a good position to go for the kill on Day 2.
The final four stages of the rally will be held on Sunday in Ketanur, about 70 kilometres away from Coimbatore.
“It was one of the longest stages that I have seen, with a lot of flat grounds with a corrupt stuff but we came through nicely,” Gill said, looking at ease. “Tomorrow we will get into proper rough pits and hope to continue in the same vein,” he added.
FMSCI president Akbar Ebrahim, rallying after nearly 25 years, was on the 21st place after the first day.
Former INRC champion Karna Kadur (with Nikhil V Pai) was trailing in the third place, after taking 38:18.5 for his two stages. That was, however, good enough for the Arka Motorsports’ spearhead to hold on to his INRC 2 advantage, with Bopiah KM and Phalghuna Urs over 30 seconds behind him.
Aroor Vikram Rao (with Somayya AG; Falkon Motorsports) continued to lead the INRC 3 category with a timing of 38:41.8. Defending champion Dean Mascarenhas, however, suffered a setback as he failed to finish the second stage due to a mechanical failure.
He was replaced by Suhem Kabeer in the second position on the leaderboard as Fabid Ahmer (third after Round 1) too slipped to the fourth place. Chetan Shivram was on the third place.
Results (After SS2)
INRC: 1) Gaurav Gill/Musa Sherif (Team Mahindra Adventure; 37:21.2); 2) Amittrajit Ghosh/Ashwin Naik (Team Mahindra Adventure; 37:42.8); 3) Karna Kadur/Nikhil V Pai (Arka Motorsports; 38:18.5).
INRC 2: 1) Karna Kadur/Nikhil V Pai; 2) Bopiah KM/Karumbaiah G; Team Champions; 38:58.2); 3) Phalghuna Urs/Srikanth Gowda; Snap Racing; 39:00.1).
INRC 3: 1) Aroor Vikram Rao/Somayya AG (Falkon Motorsports; 38:41.8); 2) Suhem Kabeer/Jeevarathinam (Team Champions; 38:50.9); 3. Chetan Shivram/Rupesh Koley (Chetan Shivram; 39.00.1)
FMSCI 2WD: 1) Adith KC/Suraj K; 2) Suraj Thomas/Sob George; 3) Vikram Gowda/Sudhindra BG