Spirited Vaidya regains lead

Spirited Vaidya regains lead

Potholes, slippery roads, cattle and confusing tulip cards were way too much to handle for some of the automobiles in the fray. However, some stuck to their task at hand and made it through to the Queen of Hills for a night halt, from where they will head for Mysore.

On a cold and windy Wednesday, Nashik’s Manoj Vaidya (co-driver Uday Kumar) held his own in the Ultimate category, as he batted all odds to regain the lead lost on day two.
With a spirited run through nine special stages spanning 77 kms at a dirt track in Dharmapuram, the seasoned driver was on fire as he completed the task in two hours, 47 minutes and 25 seconds.

Overnight leader Imran (co-driver Rashid) was the victim of a very slushy course as he slipped to the third spot in what has been reduced to a three-driver event before completing the stages. His timing was hence withheld. Sunil Shetty (co-driver Darayash D) was the beneficiary of Imran’s second-stage incident as he clocked 2:51.59 to take the second spot.

The table, however, remained unchanged in the two-wheeler section. Fighting off taxing conditions, TVS Racing’s Pramod Joshua proved just how vital technique is by extending his lead with a run of 2:19.21, while Rohit Gowda and Venu Ramesh finished second and third with times of 2:32.16 and 2:33.91 respectively.

In the Endurance category, drivers had what seemed an easier task -- complete the 160-km terrain within the stipulated time. But with over a 100 hairpin bends to negotiate, it was far from a walk in the park.

Bangalore’s Sathish Gopalakrishnan (co-driver Savera D’Souza) slipped to the second spot after K Prasad (co-driver Mustafa) took the lead, 1.21 minutes behind the stipulated time. Gopalakrishnan was a mere three seconds behind the leader.

Results: Ultimate: Cars: Manoj Vaidya/ Uday Kumar (2:47.25) 1; Sunil Shetty/ Darayash D (2.51.59) 2; Imran/ Rashid.

Bikes: Prasad (2:19.21) 1; Rohit Gowda (2:32.16) 2; Venu Ramesh Kumar (2:33.91) 3.
Endurance: K Prasad/ Mustafa (-1.21 minutes) 1; Satish Gopalakrishnan/ Savera D’Souza (-1.24), Girijashankar Joshy/ Chandra Mouli (-1.47) 3.

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