Mathias wins fifth round of INRCOctober 19th, 2008 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS
Coimbatore, Oct 19 (IANS) Vikram Mathias (co-driver PVS Murthy) of Team Red Rooster Racing, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia, comfortably won the IMG Mill and Monsoon Rally, the fifth round of the Indian National Rally Championship (INRC), here Sunday.Mathias, after team-mate Amittrajit Ghosh (co-driver Ashwin Naik), also in a Cedia , dropped out with gearbox problems Saturday, had no competition and had the luxury of driving at his own pace to clinch the overall title.
The victory, his third of the season, meant that Mathias is virtually assured of the National title, his fourth in eight years. By picking up the full complement of 16 points here, Mathias has taken his tally to 47.
“Since I had a comfortable lead overnight, I eased off a bit as my focus was on to finish the event and pick up championship points. Also, we had to be careful in view of the slushy conditions following overnight rains,” said Mathias who finished over seven minutes ahead of second placed Girijashankar Joshy (co-driver Prajal Pai) who was in a Maruti Baleno.
Overnight rains had rendered some sections of the two Special Stages that were run twice, slushy and treacherous, but only two of the Leg-2 starters failed to finish the course.
For Joshy, it was a huge relief to win in his class (1600cc) after a string of non-finishes this season. Driving sensibly, Joshy, representing Team Winspeed, eventually completed the course three minutes ahead of his nearest rival and championship leader in the class, Sanket Shanbhag (co-driver Ramesh Shanbhag).
The Rally Star Cup witnessed some close competition before Shailendra Hegde (co-driver Sheraz Ahmed) chalked up his second success of the season in this class, sparing over two minutes to Byram Godrej.
In the Gypsy class, Sanjay Agarwal (co-driver Elias Paarel), who was lying third overnight, pulled out all stops and finished second behind Sandeep Sharma (co-driver Rashid Raza), pushing J. Aravind to third.
Provisional (unaudited) classification:
Overall: Vikram Mathias/PVS Murthy (Red Rooster Racing, Cedia N+) 1 (1hr, 41mins, 15secs); Girijashankar Joshy/Prajal Pai (Team Winspeed, Maruti Baleno) 2 (1:48:41); Sanket Shanbhag/Ramesh Shanbhag (Team Winspeed, Maruti Baleno) 3 (1:52:23).
1600cc: Joshy/Pai 1 (1:48:41); S Shanbhag/R Shanbhag 2 (1:52:53); Yogeshwar Singh Gill/Khushwant Randhawa 3 (1:55:14).
1400cc: JM Manju/Jeevarathinam 1 (1:54:26); Saurabh Chaudhari/Uday Kumar 2 (1:55:14); S Sujay/SM Bharath 3 (1:55:24).
Rally Star Cup: Shailendra Hegde/Sheraz Ahmed 1 (1:53:02); Byram Godrej/George Varghese 2 (1:54:49); Deepak Paul Chinnappa/M Chandrasekar 3 (1:54:52).
Gypsy: Sandeep Sharma/Rashid Raza 1 (1:54:30); Sanjay Agarwal/Elias Paarel 2 (1:55:38); J. Aravind/Pramod Raman 3 (1:57:14).