KOCHI: He was driving to get a feel of things and pick a few lessons at the World Rally Championship. And with the special stages being dusty and slippery, India’s V.R. Naren Kumar had plenty to learn at the BP Ultimate Acropolis Rally of Greece in Athens on Friday.
The 34-year-old Team Sidvin India star, the first Indian at the World Championship, had a decent run too, and was in the 17th spot after the sixth and penultimate special stage on the opening day in the Production Class where 29 cars are in the fray.
The Acropolis Rally has a reputation of being a car breaker and the former six-time National champion took time to settle down.
He was running 25th after the first stage in the narrow, slippery and dusty Schimatari stage, a 11.57km run, but he made up nicely in the next two stages, at Thiva and Psatha, which had many corners with huge stones jutting out.
Naren, with British co-driver Nicky Breech, was 19th in the day’s longest stage, the 24km Thiva, and slowly climbed up in the third stage at Psatha. The opening day of the three-day event has seven stages.
Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah was in the lead in the Production Class after the penultimate stage with Finland’s Juho Hanninen closely tailing him. — Principal Correspondent