Team MRF's Gaurav Gill is back to winning ways. After failing to finish the last three events, national champion Gill won the Misty Meadows Rally of Kerala, the fifth round of the Speed Indian National Rally Championship here, on Sunday.
Gill is a man in a hurry. A former national racing champion, the 29-year-old from Delhi frequently pushes the car to the limit. But on Sunday, for a change, he was not the fastest man in the final super special stage. With a heavy 25-second overnight advantage over his nearest rival and with the drivers' championship points in mind, Gill, who had Kerala's Musa Sherif as his co-driver, eased off a bit in the last 3.28-km run and brought his Mitsubishi Cedia home without any hiccups to claim the overall title.
“It went off well,” said Gill. “We had issues going uphill, we were losing power. And you need more guts to go downhill fast…we did it.”
Gill's victory fetched him 15 points and took him to the third place in the national drivers table with 31 points.
Red Rooster Racing's Amittrajit Ghosh, the fastest man in the final super special stage, finished overall second with his teammates V.R. Naren Kumar and Vikram Mathias taking the third and fourth positions.
Naren stays in lead
Coimbatore's former national champion Naren also maintained his lead in the drivers' championship with 38 points while Vikram hung on to his second spot with 33 points with just a round to go, in Hyderabad in January.
Ovion Racing's Chikmagalur-Bangalore pair of Girijashankar Joshy and M. Chandramouli topped the 2000cc N class while the Bangalore duo of Rahul Kantharaj and co-driver Vivek Y Bhat won the 1600cc event.
Provisional results (with time for special stages):
Overall & 2000cc N+: 1. Gaurav Gill & Musa Sherif (Team MRF) 1 hour 14 minutes 37.8 secs; 2. Amittrajit Ghosh & Ashwin Naik (Red Rooster Racing) 1:15:03.0 secs; 3. Naren Kumar & D. Ram Kumar (Red Rooster Racing) 1:15:52.8 secs.
2000cc N class: 1. Girijashankar Joshy & M. Chandramouli (Team Ovion) 1:21: 47.7; 2. Sujay Suresh & S.M. Bharath 1:21: 51.1; 3. Sirish Chandran & Nikhil Pai (Team Overdrive) 1:27: 01.7.
1600cc class: 1. Rahul Kantharaj & Vivek Y. Bhat (Privateer) 1: 26: 56.1; 2. Shailendra Hegde & Shiraj Ahmed 1: 30: 24.0; 3. Renjith Gopinath & Suresh Babu 1: 30: 46.1.
1400 cc class: 1. Byram Godrej & Anjay Kapadia 1: 28: 42.6; 2. C.G. Balram & C.G. Raghuram 1: 29:16.1; 3. Aniruddha Ranganathan & Halley Prabhakar 1: 34: 32.0.
Rally Star Cup: 1. M.R. Venkatapathy & S. Santosh Kumar 1: 29: 03.7; 2. Phalguna V. Urs & Anoop Kumar 1:29: 39.0; 3. N. Harikeshav & A.G. Somayya 1: 31: 26.7.
Gypsy class: 1. Amrinder Brar & Nilesh (AAW) 1: 30: 29.7, 2. Shakti Bajaj & Dharmesh Sinha (AAW) 1: 33: 26.4; 3. Elias Thomas Paarel & Thomas Phillip 1: 36: 15.9.