The first day of the AVT Premium South India Rally saw Amittrajit Ghosh in his Mitsubishi Cedia come out in front after overcoming Arjun Rao who conceded the lead after his Volkswagen Polo suffered from a broken driveshaft. 2011 INRC Champion Gaurav Gill driving a Mahindra XUV500 secured a best time of 1:13:22.2 as compared to Amittrajit Ghosh, who secured a timing of 1:16:00.7.
This was the first time an SUV category was included within the AVT Premium South India Rally and competitors did have a good time negotiating the track as the strived to secure a good lap timing. Luck didn’t favor Arjun Rao as during the dying moments of the Special Stage his VW Polo suffered a broken driveshaft which effectively put him out of play on top but the team did secure a finish with co-driver Rajagopal pushing the car vehicle over the time control line.
Experienced Gill did well the whole day and managed to secure good timings for all laps. The only Mitsubishi Evolution 10 in the race driven by Samir Thapar came in second with a timing of 1:15:56.0. The day favored some while others had to battle through to reach the finish line in the opening day which saw 5 vehicles drop out citing mechanical trouble and another one due to a crash wherein everyone walked away unscathed, except the car.
The Volkswagen Polo debut with Sirish Chandran (Nikhil Pai) led the way in the 1600cc class, followed by Byram Godrej (Prjajwal Pai) in a Maruti Baleno, and Arjun Rao / Satish Rajagopal in 3rd after taking on a road penalty of two minutes, 20 seconds for late check-out from service.