National Rally Championship: Master class from Gaurav GillNovember 18th, 2011 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS
Chikmagalur (Karnataka), Nov 18 (IANS) Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) lived up to his nickname “sideways” as he put in a spectacular display of controlled aggression to post the quickest time in the Spectator Special Stage that kicked-off the Coffee Day Rally, the fifth round of Indian National Rally Championship, here Friday.
Total commitment was the 30-year old Delhi-based Gill’s watchword as he beautifully drifted his Mitsubishi Cedia Lancer (Group N+) through the flowing corners and did not lift while negotiating the jump and had the car do his bidding to clock three minutes, 3.7 seconds over the three Kms stage to thrill the 3,000-plus spectators.
Equally impressive was his team-mate Arjun Balu (Sujith Kumar) whose technically correct driving saw him placed second with a 03:05.6 ahead of fellow-MRF driver Amittrajit Ghosh (Ashwin Naik) who returned 03:10.5.
The drivers in the lower classes were not to be left behind. Young Karna Kadur (Somonita Ghosh) topped the charts in the 2000cc (Group N) class with an impressive 03:14.5 while Karan AM (Shanmuga SN) in the Star Cup (1400cc), which is not part of the Indian National Rally Championship but run concurrently as a stand alone category, posted 03:21.8 which eclipsed 1600cc topper Sidharth Ranganekar (Nitin Jacob) who did 03:28.2.
Local challenger Shafeeq-ur Rehman (Ajith KP), driving in the Gypsy Cup, pipped championship leader Sanjay Agarwal (Shivaprakash E) by over four seconds to provide the day’s surprise result.
The track proved to be rather dusty and with the vehicles being run in the reverse order, the surface got chewed up considerably and yet, the likes of Gill and Balu literally flew to underline their class and caliber.
The real test begins on Saturday when the 39 starters head out to the Special Stages that promise lot of action as the terrain is fast and flowing.
The results (partial classification):
Overall: Gaurav Gill / Musa Sherif (Team MRF) 1 (03mins, 03.7secs); Arjun Balu / BS Sujith Kumar (MRF) 2 (03:05.6); Amittrajit Ghosh / Ashwin Naik (MRF) 3 (03:10.5).
2000cc (Group N): Karna Kadur / Somonita Ghosh 1 (03:14.5); Shailendra Hegde / Prajval Pai 2 (03:18.2); Sirish Chandran / Nikhil Pai 3 (03:18.8).
1600cc: Siddharth Ranganekar / Nitin Jacob 1 (03:28.2); Anirudha Ranganekar / Anoop Kumar 2 (03:30.4); Ameen Ahmed / Thouqeer Ahmed 3 (03:32.1).
Star Cup (1400cc): Karan AM / Shanmugha SN 1 (03:21.8); Raghunandan B / Adhiraj 2 (03:28.4); Dean Mascarenhas / Shruptha Padival 3 (03:28.7).
Gypsy Cup: Shafeeq-ur Rehman / Ajith KP 1 (03:25.8); Sanjay Agarwal / Shivaprakash E 2 (03:29.2); Amartej Buwal / Nakul Mendirata 3 (03:31.0).
(Anand Philar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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