Amittrajit closes in on title
Reigning champion Amittrajit Ghosh (co-driver Ashwin Naik) all but clinched the overall Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) title as their nearest contender Vikram Devadasen (George Verghese) crashed out on the opening day of the IMG K-1000 Rally in Tumkur on Saturday.
After two loops of the three physical Special Stages, Ghosh, driving a Group N-spec Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia, led the field by one minute, 28.8 seconds with Prithvi Dominic (Pruthvi Sthal) in second place, followed by Rahul Kanthraj (Vivek Bhatt).
Devadasen, also in a Cedia, and 56 points behind Ghosh, was on pace with the leader until he suffered a puncture in SS-5 and then flipped the car 500 metres from the finish of the day’s last Stage to drop out of contention.
“Going into a right-hander just before the flying finish, I hit a bund and was not carrying enough speed through the corner,” said a devastated Devadasen.
Provisional classifications (Leg 1): INRC Overall/2000cc: Amittrajit Ghosh/ Ashwin Naik (Cedia) (1::3:28.7) 1; Prithvi Dominic/ Pruthvi Sthal (01::04:57.5) 2; Rahul Kanthraj/ Vivek Bhatt (01::05:04.6) 3.
INRC 1600cc: Arjun Rao/ Satish Rajagopal (VW Polo) (01::05:59.5) 1; Sirish Chandran/ Nikhil Pai (VW Polo, Slidways Industries) (01::06:04.4) 2; Byram Godrej/ Prajwal Pai (VW Polo, Slideways Industries) (01::11:53.3) 3.
JINRC: Suhem MK/ J Jeevarathinam (01::07:09.9) 1; Aroor Vikram Rao/ Somayya AG (01::08:13.2) 2; Philip Thomas/ Milen George Cherian (01::10:15.2) 3.
SUV RC: Gaurav Gill/ Musa Sherif (Mahindra Adventure Rally) (01::00:57.3) 1; Sunny Sidhu/ PVS Murthy (Mahindra Adventure Rally) (01::03:02.2) 2; Lohitt Urs/ Bonnie Thomas (Mahindra Adventure Rally) (01::04:00.1).
IRC: Karamjit Singh/ Jagdev Singh (VW Polo R2, Slideways Industries) (01::01:45.5) 1; Sumit Panjabi/ Prakhyath Shirole (Cedia) (01::16:47.1) 2.