The Hindu Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) had a good race (SUVNRC), despite early engine heating issues, on Saturday. Photo: M. Periasamy
Kolkata’s Amittrajit Ghosh (co-driver Ashwin Naik) maintained a steady pace right through to emerge the INRC 2000 leader on the first day of the Rally of Coimbatore, the third leg of the FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship (INRC), at the Kethanur windmill farms near Palladam on Saturday.
Ghosh enjoyed the privilege of going first and he pushed his car to a reasonable speed on both the stages (Textool & Gem). After gaining some time, he stayed calm in the next two to finish the day on a merry note.
“We planned to go hard initially because that’s when the stages are good. Saving the car (Mitsubishi Cedia) was also on our mind, so we drove cautiously in the final two,” said Ghosh.
APRC contender Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) ran a good race (SUVNRC) despite early engine heating issues. “I had to be smart to cool the car (Mahindra XUV500). I went full throttle and when the engine got heated I drove at a decent speed to give it some rest,” said the international star.
“We had to repeat the procedure in almost all the stages. But, I am pleased overall with the day. Tomorrow is going to be even more difficult. We will have to ensure that we take the best care of our car,” he added.
Samir Thapar (Vivek Ponnusamy) proved his might in the IRC class. Samir, who is back after 12 years, drove like a true master. However, his Evo X did let him down in the third stage. “The gearbox got stuck but we still managed to do reasonably well,” said Samir.
It was a bad day, however, for international star Karamjit Singh (co-driver Jagdev Singh). “There was too much wheel spin and not enough power in our car (VW Polo). These stages are power packed. We tried our best but it did not take us where we wanted,” said Karamjit.
The results (leaders, day one):
INRC 2000: 1. Amittrajit Ghosh / Ashwin Naik; 2. Vikram Devadasen / Srikanth; 3. V. Phalguna / Anoop Kumar.
INRC 1600: 1. Arjun Rao / Satish Rajagopal; 2. Byram Godrej / Prajwal Pai; 3. Adithya Shivram / Kariyappa.
IRC: 1. Samir Thapar / Vivek Ponnusamy; 2. Karamjit Singh / Jagdev Singh; 3. Sumit Panjabi / Chetan Shivram.
JINRC: 1. M.K. Suhem / J. Jevvarathinam; 2. Aroor Vikram Rao / A.G. Somayya; 3. Asad Khan / Zayne Asrar.
SUVNRC: 1. Gaurav Gill / Musa Sherif; 2. Lohit Urs / Bonnie Thomas; 3. Sunny Sidhu / P.V. Srinivas Murthy.