Amittrajit Ghosh (Ashwin Naik) nursed his ailing Mitsubishi Cedia to the finish at the AVT Premium South India Rally. They put up a determined effort right from the start as their vehicle suffered from a host of mechanical issues. Ghosh clocked a timing of 1:54:09.3 to clinch the overall title. In the newly introduced SUV class, Mahindra XUV 500 driven by champion Gaurav Gill capitalized on being the quickest of the lot to win in this category. Sunny Sidhu came in second while Sanjay Agarwal came in third in this category. “The performance of the XUV 500 was beyond our expectations. A lot of people had underestimated the capability of the XUV, but we showed what it was capable of. It was a learning experience and I am sure we will improve through the season. The MRF tyres also played an important part in our success. They gave us specially prepared tyres for this event and they worked really well,” said Gill.
INRC 1600cc class Group N saw Sirish Chandran / Nikhil V Pai clock a time of 01:56:00.2 for Team Slideways Industries in their Volkswagen Polo, and Arjun Rao / Satish Rajagopal clock a time of 01:56:47.6 for team AR Racing to place 2nd, ensuring 2 podium finsihes for the VW Polo. Third place was secured by Byram Godrej / Prajwal Pai with a time of 01:57:19.4 in their Maruti Baleno. “It was a good result for the Volkswagen Polo considering that we came to the event with hardly any testing, but the car handled well even in the rougher sections which speaks a lot for its reliability. Our thanks to Volkswagen for providing all the support,” said Chandran who placed first in 1600, and 4th overall.
Samir Thapr from Delhi put up an awesome show in his Mitsubishi Evolution X coming in second fastest overall with a timing of 1:52:59.0. This was the first round of the 2013 FMSCI Indian Rally Championship. Second round will be held from 10th to 12th May 2013 at RRPM in Kolkata.
Provisional final classification:
INRC Overall: Amittrajit Ghosh / Ashwin Naik (Mitsubishi Cedia) 1 (01hr, 54mins, 09.3secs); Vikram Devadasen / Shrikanth Gowda (Mitsubishi Cedia) 2 (01:54:41.5); Dr Bikku Babu / George Verghese (Mitsubishi Cedia) 3 (01:55:31.0).
INRC 2000cc (Group N): Ghosh / Naik (Mitsubishi Cedia) 1 (01:54:09.3secs); Devadasen / Gowda (Mitsubishi Cedia) 2 (01:54:41.5); Dr Babu / Verghese (Mitsubishi Cedia) 3 (01:55:31.0).
INRC 1600cc: Sirish Chandran / Nikhil V Pai (Volkswagen Polo) 1 (01:56:00.2); Arjun Rao / Satish Rajagopal (Volkswagen Polo) 2 (01:56:47.6); Byram Godrej / Prajwal Pai (Maruti Baleno) 3 (01:57:19.4).
JINRC: Suhem MK / Jeevarathinam J (Maruti Baleno) 1 (01:58:08.8); Asad Khan / Zayne Asrar (Maruti Esteem) 2 (01:58:54.5); Adith KC / Robin Rajkumar (Maruti Esteem) 3 (02:03:21.0).
SUV: Gaurav Gill / Musa Sherif (Mahindra Adventure, XUV 500) 1 (01:50:32.3); Sunny Sidhu / PV Srinivas Murthy (Mahindra Adventure, XUV 500) 2 (01:59:20.9); Sanjay Agarwal / Shivaprakash E (Maruti Gypsy) 3 (01:59:27.5).
Indian Rally Championship: Samir Thapar / Vivek Ponnusamy (Mitsubhishi Lancer Evo X) 1 (01:52:59.0).