Gill wins SUV NRC with a strong show
In the INRC (Group-N) class, reigning national champion Amittrajit Ghosh and Ashwin Naik were in line to add their title wins of Nasik and Chennai for a memorable hat-trick.
In all, the event witnessed nine withdrawals from a total of 32 competitors.
Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) finished on top clocking 1hr.05mins.13.4 seconds after receiving a ‘road penalty’ of two minutes to be placed second behind leader Samir Thapar (Vivek Ponnusamy) of JCT Rallying.
Gill and his navigator, however, continued to lead the top-end IRC class ahead of Malaysian Karamjit Singh (Jagdev Singh).
Former World Rally champion Karamjit Singh ofteam Slideways Industries’ Volkswagen Polo clocked 1::06:58.0 to be the third quickest, while Ghosh, leader in the INRC class and driving a Mitsubishi Cedia (Group-N), was fourth in 1::06:53.1.
Provisional classification (Leg 1): INRC Overall/ 2000cc (Group N): Amittrajit Ghosh/ Ashwin Naik (Mitsubishi Cedia, 1::06:53.1) 1; Vikram Devadasen/ Srikanth Gowda (Cedia, 1::08:28.6) 2; Phalguna Urs/ Anoop Kumar DS (Cedia, 1::09:26.9) 3. INRC 1600cc: Arjun Rao/ Satish Rajagopal (VW Polo, 1::10:15.1) 1; Byram Godrej/ Prajwal Pai (Slideways Industries, VW Polo, 1::11:31.6) 2; Shahid Khan/ Dhananjaya B (Maruti Esteem, 1::19:11.0) 3. Junior INRC: Suhem MK/ J Jeevarathinam (Maruti Baleno, 1::12:08.7) 1; Asad Khan/ Zayne Asrar (Maruti Esteem, 1::13:08.4) 2; Adith KC/ Robinson Rajkumar (Maruti Esteem, 1::15:08.4) 3. SUV NRC: Gaurav Gill/ Musa Sherif (Mahindra Adventure, XUV 500, 1::05:13.4) 1; Lohitt Urs/ Bonnie Thomas (Mahindra Adventure, XUV 500, 1::08:23.3) 2; Sunny Sidhu/ PV Srinivasa Murthy (Mahindra Adventure, XUV 500, 1::16:29.5) 3.
IRC: Samir Thapar/ Vivek Ponnusamy (JCT Rallying, Mitsubishi EvoX, 1::06:34.9) 1; Karamjit Singh/ Jagdev Singh (Slideways Industries, VW Polo, 1::06:58.0) 2; Sumit Punjabi/ Chetan Shivram (Mitsubishi Cedia, 1::17:22.1) 3.