Coffee Day India Rally : Day 2 updatesDecember 2, 2018
Coffee Day India Rally, which is the fourth round of the MRF FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship has lot of drama on the 2nd day of the event. Arka Motorsports’ Karna Kadur with co-driver Nikhil Pai emerged overall leaders with a good 59.7 seconds advantage at the end of Leg-1. At the same time, Mahindra Adventure’s Gaurav Gill with co-driver Musa Sherif had to retire with a mechanical problem. The duo met with disaster as the lower arm of their XUV 500 broke, forcing them to stop in SS-6.
Gill will re-join the competition tomorrow and said, “A bad day in the office. We had a good morning, winning all the Stages, but on the fifth Stage, we had an issue with the lower arm with the ball joint completely shearing off. A case of metal fatigue perhaps. We are driving tomorrow and take whatever points we can and stay in the championship. So, maximum attack tomorrow.”
With Gill having retied, Bopaiah (Gagan Karumbaiah) went into the second spot, 16.5 seconds ahead of an ailing Amittrajit Ghosh (Ashwin Naik) of Mahindra Adventure. Ghosh, battling an allergy and suffering from breathing problems, strove manfully to finish the day without any mishap.
The Special Stages took its toll as a total of 11 competitors retired due to reasons ranging from mechanical problems to crashes as the surface deteriorated as the day wore on. The day’s last Stage was cancelled after Aroor Vikram Rao crashed and his car blocked the track.
Reflecting on his performance today, Kadur said: “I think the day went pretty well and we got more than what we bargained for. We were concentrating only on our category (INRC-2). In the Super Special Stage, we were the quickest in our category and so we knew how we wanted this rally to be. We took one Stage at a time. We trailed Gaurav (Gill) by 20 seconds after the first Stage today and so, we pushed in the next, and improved. In the process, we got past (Amittrajit) Ghosh which was part of our strategy. Unfortunately, Gaurav packed up as he was our benchmark. Tomorrow, we will try to keep our position as we have a comfortable lead.”
For Ghosh, it was a huge task to even drive the XUV 500, given his indisposition following a “shell fish allergy” that he caught on the flight from London earlier this week. “It is the toughest drive of my rally career. I couldn’t push to my limits. I am just forcing myself to drive. I am not looking at the timings and if we can make a place tomorrow, then we will. Even as I am talking now, I am gasping. I have not had any solid food the whole of this week. Tomorrow, I will drive at the pace I am comfortable with and take whatever points I can from this Rally,” said Ghosh.
The results (Provisional):
Overall: 1. Karna Kadur / Nikhil Pai (Arka Motorsports) (01hr, 12mins, 50.0secs); 2. Bopaiah / Gagan Karumbaiah (Team Champions) (01:13:49.7); 3. Amittrajit Ghosh / Ashwin Naik (Mahindra Adventure) (01:14.06.2).
INRC-1: 1. Ghosh / Naik; 2. Michu Ganapathy / Venu Rameshkumar (Team Champions) (01:16:30.8); 3. Harshita Gowda / Vidhya M (Pvt) (01:24:20.6).
INRC-2: 1. Kadur / Pai; 2. Bopaiah / Gagan Karumbaiah; 3. Younus Ilyas / Harish KN (Pvt) (01:14:52.4).
INRC-3: 1. Arjun Rao / Milen George (Chettinad Sporting)(01:15:17.2); 2. Fabid Ahmer / Shahid Salman (Chettinad Sporting) (01:16:33.0); 3. Darius Shroff / Nitin Jacob (Pvt) (01:18:22.8).
FMSCI 2WD Cup: 1.Mujeeb Rahman / Moideen Sharfali (Pvt) (01:19:19.8); 2.Vikram Gowda / Sudheendhra BG (Team Champions) (01:19:42.2); 3. Prakhyat H Shirole / Bharath SM (Pvt) (01:20:13.4).
FMSCI 4WD Cup: 1. Sanjay Agarwal /Smitha Prasad M (Team Champions) (01:19:52.4); 2. Sachin Murthy / Sathyapal (Pvt) (01:21:07.9) 3. Nikhil J / Arjun Dheerendra (Pvt) (01:26:07.1).