Gaurav Gill roars to victory in Round 2 of Indian National Rally Championship 2020


Itanagar: Indian rallyist Gaurav Gill continued his winning streak, claiming Rally of Arunachal, Round 2 of the Champions Yacht Club-FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2020 here on Sunday.

The JK Tyre driver with Musa Sherif started off from where he left and after recording a stellar victory in round 1 at the time place two days back posted a total time of 42:15.00 minutes to win the rally and finish the Arunachal leg with a grand double.

Driving in an XUV300, the three-time APRC champion looked in top form and dominated the rally right from the word go. He opened up a considerable gap of around 1:51 minutes in the first two night stages on Saturday evening, held onto his lead throughout and mixed aggression with caution perfectly to win all the six special stages including four-night stages to consolidate his position at the top of the leaderboard.

His teammate Amittrajit Ghosh along with co-driver Ashwin Naik clinched second place after posting a total time of 43.48.1 minutes. Amittrajit driving in XUV300, who has been battling car issues for more than a year now, was impeccable behind the wheels and drove with great precision for his first podium finish of the season.

“First of all, it feels good to be rallying again more than anything. With the COVID 19 situation and then Mahindra pulling out, it was a tricky situation for us. But with JK Tyre and Mahindra’s support things eventually started falling in place,” Amittrajit said in a statement.

“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 added.

Defending champion Chetan Shivram (and Rupesh Kholay) of Yokohama Tyres who had a DNF in the last round, started the round with a stock engine car and despite driving a vehicle with different specs did well to finish the overall 13th to take valuable leg points and hope for a turnaround in fortunes in the remaining rounds.

Karna Kadur of MRF Tyre also continued his good run and after finishing runner-up in the opening round claimed third place. Along with Nikhil V Pai, Karna was constantly pushing Amittrajit but eventually had to contend with third place with a total time of 44:57.3 minutes. His place on the podium also secured his second position on the points table.

In the INRC 2 category, it was Dean Mascarenhas (and Shruptha Padival) who took the top honours by completing the six special stages with a total time of 45:38.6 minutes followed by Snap Racing’s Sahil Khanna (and Vidit Jain) who took 47.42.0 minutes, to finish the rally. Rahul Kanthraj (along with co-driver Vivek Y Bhat) ended up in third place with an overall time of 47:48.8 minutes.

Aditya Thakur (and Virendra Kashyap) of Team Nutulapati won the top place in INRC 3, after clocking a total time 47.24.5 minutes followed by Fabid Ajmer (and Eldo Chacko) who took 47:30.8 minutes to finish the rally. Last round’s INRC 3 winner, Maninder Singh Prince and his navigator Vinay Padmasali made it to third place on the podium with a total time of 48:06.4 minutes.

Mujeeb Rahman (and Goutham CP) won the top prize in the INRC 4 category with 50.42.300 minutes, while last year’s winner Vaibhav Marathe and his co-driver Suhan MK, driving for Yokohama Tyres won second place with a total time of 51:28.500 minutes. Rohith Iyer (and M. Manjunath) took the third podium after registering a time of 54:21.600 minutes.

In the Junior INRC category, Harikrishna Wadia (and 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 as they finished in third place with a total time of 49:37.7 minutes. (ANI)