Red Rooster start firm favourites

Second leg of INRC in Shidlaghatta from today

State Corporation Minister Lakshman Savadi flags off the K-1000 rally. DH PHOTO

The distinctive route, with fast-paced corners and long straights, will suit Vikram and his 2000cc N+ Cedia, as he traversed the stages last year with some of the fastest times recorded.

Team MRF, who fielded two Cedia’s and two Baleno’s in last year’s rally, have made improvements to their vehicles after Gaurav Gill’s drive in the reconnaissance stage on Wednesday and will look to thrive on a strong contingent driving four buffed-up Cedia’s. After a disappointing performance in the Malaysia leg of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, Gill will look to jump back into form by reclaiming the title he won in 2006 and 2007.

Gill’s aggressive driving style might make the track seem faster, but there is an obvious element of risk with his ‘all or nothing approach’.

Last year, Gill finished third overall after being penalised in the first stage and pushed to the 30th spot.

“The rally will be fast-paced. I feel the second stage will be the fastest. We will hit speeds of 200 kmph on the long stretches without a problem, but some of the corners that have been removed would have made this all the more exciting. This is the best rally in India and I am looking forward to it,” said Gill on the sidelines of the ceremonial flag-off at the Bangalore Palace on Thursday.

While the limelight is firmly placed on the rivalry between Mathias and Gill, no one can disregard the potential of Amittrajit Ghosh, Arjun Balu and some of the newer drivers on the circuit. Red Rooster Racing’s Coimbatore stage winner Ghosh is all set to shred the vicious terrain in his Cedia.

The 24-year-old, taking part in his third K-1000, will rely on speed and confidence.
“I am very confident but there are some really good drivers will provide great competition. The game plan remains the same after our good performance in Coimbatore. It’s a great surface to drive on here, a surface on which fast times can be achieved,” said Ghosh.

With 61 entries and some of the best drivers in the country, the K-1000 is set to enthrall the crowds.

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