Principal Correspondent

KOCHI: Mangalore’s Arjun Rao Aroor, who drives for MRF Tyres in the Indian National rally championship, finished third in the Pirelli ‘Star Driver’ competition at the Malaysian Rally which concluded in Johor Bahru on Sunday.

The winner of the Pirelli Star Driver Scheme, an event for drivers below 27 years and launched by the world body FIA this year, gets a sponsored drive at next year’s World Rally Championship and New Zealand’s Mark Tapper claimed the honour in Malaysia.

MRF’s Gaurav Gill, who won the APRC Rally of Indonesia recently, also figured in the Pirelli competition apart from the APRC Championship in Malaysia but failed to finish the event.

The 26-year-old Arjun Rao, who had Kerala’s Musa Sherif as his co-driver, also finished eighth overall in the Malaysian Rally in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6.

He also finished runner-up, behind former Production Cars World champion Karamjit Singh, in the Malaysian Championship held simultaneously.

Kerala’s P. G. Abhilash (co-driver Vivek Ponnusamy), making his international debut and fighting brake and gear problems, finished fifth in the Malaysian Championship and third in the P12 class, driving a 2000cc Proton Putra.

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