Super Gill-Sherif drive into lead

Driving the Mitsubishi Cedia in the 2000 N+ category of the Coffee Day Rally of Chikmagalur, Gill lived up to the latter part of the deal at the Birur Special Stage on the second day as he carried his car back to the Team MRF garage in one piece, but it was hard for the Delhi driver to contain his urge for speed.

After blitzing the Triple S on Friday, Gill went well above 145 kilometers per hour in phases on the winding course to clock a time of 52:41.5 by the end of the day. Gill, who was guided by the experienced but seldom spoken of Musa Sherif, was 50.2 seconds ahead of MRF team-mate Amittrajit Ghosh (co-driver Ashwin Naik, 53:31.7). Team MRF completed a 1-2-3 line up with Mysore’s Lohitt Urs (co-driver PVS Murthy) coming in third after his 53:46.5-show in the fifth round of the Indian National Rally Championship.

Urs might have had to take the backseat had the fourth MRF car, driven by Arjun Balu (co-driver Sujith Kumar), not suffered a setback with the cam sensor in SS 3 and retired for the day. But MRF won’t complain as they have three of their drivers in a good position to push for podium places while Gill looks to extend his lead on the overall table and eventually, if not surely, grab his third INRC title.

Meanwhile, local star Rahul Kantharaj (co-driver Vivek Y Bhatt), who leads the championship table in the 2000N class, put to fore a classic display of controlled aggression to take a 5.2-second advantage over Karna Kadur (co-driver Sommonita Ghosh). The Birur-Bangalore duo clocked fastest times in three of the four special stages in the Cedia. Chetan Shivaram (co-driver Rupesh Kholay) is in third place, but with only seconds separating every driver in the category, Sunday’s session may prove decisive.

Provisional results: Overall/ 2000N+: Gaurav Gill/ Musa Sherif (Team MRF, 52:41.5) 1; Amittrajit Ghosh/ Ashwin Naik (Team MRF, 53:31.7) 2; Lohitt Urs/ PV Srinivasa Murthy (Team MRF, 53:46.5) 3. 2000N: Rahul Kantharaj/ Vivek Y Bhatt (57:05.2) 1; Karna Kadur (57:10.4) 2; Chetan Shivram/ Rupesh Kholay (57:15.6) 3.

1600cc: Balaram CG/ Raghuram CG (1::01:28.2) 1; Hanoosh Surapneni/ Ravindra Kumar (1::03:18.8) 2; Aniruddha Rangnekar/ Anoop Kumar (1::04:49.2) 3.
1400cc: Raghunandhan B/ Adhiraju (1::00:50.5) 1; Asad Khan/ Zayn Asrar (1::02:43.0) 2; Pramod Raman/ Harish KN (1::02:46.3) 3.

Gypsy class: Shafeeq Ahmed/ Ajith KP (1::01:21.3) 1; Sanjay Agarwal/ Shivaprakash (1::01:33.2) 2; Amartej Buwal/ Nakul Mendiratta (1::03:16.5) 3.

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