Joshua in charge in two-wheelers

However, the organisers decided to call off the Ultimate category event for the day, which was supposed to run a 36.4-km stage in Kundah before completing a transport of 323.85 km to Mysore, due to bad underfoot conditions and the threat of landslides in the region. The organisers tried to clear the debris in time to run the leg but too much damage had been done to be fixed in a short span of time.

To make matters worse, it was learnt that the Woshully and Yemmegundi stages in Coorg -- where a pit stop was scheduled before the final run to Bangalore -- have also been hit terribly by the rain, making them unlikely venues.

As of Wednesday, Manoj Vaidya remained in the lead in the four-wheeler category while Sunil Shetty and Imran were placed second and third respectively. In the two-wheeler category, TVS Racing’s Pramod Joshua remained in charge while Rohit Gowda finished second and Venu Ramesh came in third. While the Ultimate category drivers wandered about cursing their stars, the Endurance drivers sat snug in their well-wired, equipped machines and cautiously made their way down the confusing slopes of the Kalhatti ghats.
Road conditions were marginally better than on Wednesday, but that couldn’t compensate for the challenge of negotiating 70-odd hairpin bends, which climbed at a steep angle for the most part. As the four-wheel drive technology helped most drivers out, it helped K Prasad (co-driver Mustafa) in particular.

Although Bangalore’s Sathish Gopalakrishnan (co-driver Savera D’Souza) was as clinical as possible in a Grand Vitara, Prasad in a Mahindra Scorpio remained in the lead, a minute and 47 seconds behind TSD (time, speed, distance) time. The husband-wife Sathish-Savera duo from Bangalore was second after finishing five second behind the leaders on the penultimate day of the rally.

Indian National Rally Championship veteran Girijashankar Joshy (co-driver Chandra Mouli) lost out on precious time earlier on the fourth day of the rally but managed to claw their way back to third.

Results: Endurance: K Prasad/ Mustafa (-1.47M) 1; Satish Gopalakrishnan/ Savera D’Souza (-1.52) 2; Girijashankar Joshy/ Chandra Mouli (-2.12) 3.

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