Karna Kadur wins first round of 2022 INRC season at Chennai
The 45th South India Rally played host to dramatic events as Karna Kadur started his championship with a bang. The Bangalore driver and his co-driver, Nikhil Pai, began the first rally of the 2022 INRC season having to deal with a mechanically troubled car. Owing to this, he was harangued by Mangaluru’s Dean Mascarenhas the whole rally, with only a slim margin of 2.9 seconds going into the nine special stages. They were followed by 2021 INRC champion and Himachal man Aditya Thakur, who had a relatively quiet rally after Gaurav Gill was forced to retire after severe technical issues, including a broken driveshaft. Karna Kadur eventually won the rally with a spirited drive in the final special stage to hold off the charging Dean Mascarenhas by 4.6 seconds.
Later events brought further drama to an already exciting event, as six competitors were disqualified for violating technical norms in post-race scrutineering, all curiously related to wheel spacers. Among the main casualties of this was Dean Mascarenhas, who lost his overall second-place finish, as well as the INRC-2 victory. Jahaan Singh, who had won in the INRC-3 and Junior INRC classes lost his positions as well. Suhem Kabeer, Arnav Pratap Singh (SNAP Racing), Prakyat Shirole and Yeshwant Padala were the other disqualified drivers.
Speaking about the rally, Karna Kadur said, “Yes, it was a close finish, and we are happy to win. We had some ongoing issues over the weekend, but we managed to nurse the car to the finish as we had no time to sort out or figure out the problems. Dean and I were actually sitting together and having a good laugh as the start of the Stage was delayed by about half-an-hour. But I knew I had something in reserve for the final push. I kept my calm and did what I had to do to win.”
Post the disqualifications, here’s how the results looked:
Overall / INRC
1. Karna Kadur / Nikhil Pai (both Bengaluru, Arka Motorsports) (01Hr, 44mins, 52.700secs); 2. Aditya Thakur / Virender Kashyap (both Himachal, Chettinad Sporting) (01:45:50.600); 3. Chetan Shivram / Dilip Sharan (both Bengaluru, SNAP Racing) (01:47:51.800).
1. Thakur / Kashyap (01:45:50.600); 2. Shivram / Sharan (01:47:51.800); 3. Harikrishan Wadia (Delhi) / Amber Udasi (Chandigarh, Arka Motorsports) (01:49:29.700).
1. Kuber Sharma / Kunal Kashyap (both Himachal) (01:49:25.200); 2. Daraius Neville Shroff (Delhi) / Arjun Dheerendra (Bengaluru, Slideways Industries) (01:50:15.200); 3. Aniruddh Ranganekar (Mumbai) / Milen George (Kottayam, Slideways Industries) (01:53:34.700).
INRC-4 (1 finisher)
1. Rupesh Kholay / Varun Satyanarayan (both Bengaluru) (02:01:45.000).
Junior INRC (2 finishers)
Shivani Pruthvi / Deepti Pruthvi (both Davangere) (01:54.15.500); 2. Pragati Gowda / Trisha Jagannath (both Bengaluru, Arka Motorsports) (02:28:24.600).