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Chetan drives to glory on final day

Team Akshara Racing’s Chetan Shivram and co-driver Dilip Sharan are a happy duo.

Team Akshara Racing’s Chetan Shivram and co-driver Dilip Sharan are a happy duo.   | Photo Credit: Rayan Rozario

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Mixes caution with his already aggressive driving methods

Team Akshara Racing’s Chetan Shivram and his co-driver brother Dilip Sharan, running on MRF tyres, emerged the heroes of the Rally of Coimbatore, the second round of the Champions Yacht Club-promoted FMSCI-Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) at the Kethanur windmill farms here on Sunday.

Going into the final day, Chetan, the INRC 3 driver, had a few seconds edge over his nearest competitor Suhem Kabeer (Jeeva Rathinam). Younus Ilyas (Harish Gowda) of Race Concepts was also breathing down his neck. It was a tricky situation and, obviously the teams had planned their strategies overnight.

An autocross champion, Chetan chalked out something special too. He mixed a bit of caution to his already aggressive driving methods in the three stages. The gritty driver, who came in with a calm mind, went flat out in the first. When he opened the route he found it extremely slushy but went on to complete it.

Under pressure

But Suhem, who was just half a second behind, was under some pressure and, that showed as he got stuck in the stage and lost about five minutes. That allowed Younus to go ahead. However, in the final stage of the day, Chetan planned it simple — to go out there and complete the rally.

Younus stepped up the heat midway through but failed to make it to the top. “We planned to drive safe in the last stage as we had only an INRC3 car, which is much more under-powered than Younus’ car,” said Chetan, who thanked God for helping them sail through safely and steadily to the top for the first time.

He said Coimbatore fortunately has been very lucky for him. “I have placed almost every time here. I had a lovely time with a super service team, fine tuner and a great navigator. What more can I ask for.”

The results (provisional, final day): INRC overall: 1. Chetan Shivram & Dilip Sharan 1:33:51.700s; 2. Younus Ilyas & Harish Gowda; 3. Fabid Ahmer & G. Sanath.

INRC 2: 1. Younus Ilyas & Harish Gowda 1:33:56.300s; 2. Dean Mascarenhas & Shruptha Padival; 3. Suhem Kabeer & Jeeva Rathinam.

INRC 3: 1. Chetan Shivram & Dilip Sharan 1:33:51.700s; 2. Fabid Ahmer & G. Sanath; 3. Aditya Thakur & Virender Kashyap.

INRC 4: 1. Vaibhav Marate & S.S.B. Arjun 1:38:27.000s; 2. Manoj Mohanan & Francis Sachin; 3. Rakshith Iyer & Chandrashekar.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:32:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/chetan-drives-to-glory-on-final-day/article28984633.ece

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