Record entries for K-1000 Rally

August 19th, 2011 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Aug 19 (IANS) Despite its reputation taking a beating in recent years, the Karnataka-1000 Rally, a round of the Indian National Rally Championship, still retains a touch of romance about it considering the record 41 entries for this weekend’s 37th edition.

The Karnataka-1000 that once occupied a position of pre-eminence in the INRC calendar has in the recent times suffered from organizational lapses that sadly have become more a rule than exception.

Last year, 20 entrants pulled out demanding cancellation of one of the Special Stages while the event that was projected as a contender for the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, was subsequently denied that status in the wake of organizational blunders.

For all that, this year’s event has enjoyed an overwhelming response from petrol heads with the Reds (Team MRF), led by Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) in a Group N+ Mitsubishi Cedia, likely to extend their unchallenged run in this year’s INRC.

However, for the 29-year old Delhi-based Gill, the K-1000 has not exactly been a happy hunting ground, but with two outright wins in three rounds so far, he would be looking to consolidate his position that has him 30 points clear of team-mate Amittrajit Ghosh (Ashwin Naik).

Down the grid, in the Group N 2000cc class, young Karna Kadur (Somonita Ghosh) heads the table with 74 points following his wins in Chennai and Coimbatore after surviving a massive crash in the opening round at Nashik.

On Kadur’s heels is the experienced Rahul Kanthraj (Vivek Bhatt), just nine points adrift despite being plagued by mechanical problems in all the previous three rounds. In fact, neither Kadur nor Kanthraj can afford to relax as Sirish Chandran (Nikhil Pai) and Vikram Devadasen (Somaya AG) are within striking distance on 61 and 55, respectively.

Meanwhile, the consistent Aniruddha Ranganekar (Anoop Kumar) with one win and two second-place finishes, is perched atop the 1600cc field with 87 points.

In the other two categories that are not part of the INRC but run concurrently, Bangalore’s Sanjay Agarwal (Shivaprakash E) and Karan AM (Shanmuga SN) head the Gypsy Cup and Star Cup (1400cc) with 78 and 67 points, respectively.

The three Special Stages of Clay (13.02 kms), Blackberry (9.2 kms) and Blueberry (13.63 kms), located some 100 Kms out of the city, will be run twice on Saturday and once on Sunday followed by two laps of the two-km long Spectator Special Stage which will bring the curtain down on the event.

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