Balu surges into handy lead

Balu surges into handy lead

Forgettable day for Red Rooster as Mathias, Ghosh court bad luck

Team MRF’s Arjun Balu on his way to the first-day lead in the K-1000 rally on Friday. DH Photo

Arjun Balu heads the field with a time of 42 minutes four seconds, while Arjun Rao Aroor was second place in 00:44:35.

Gaurav Gill complemented his team-mates with a break-neck performance to lead the charts after the first leg, but the Delhite’s luck waned as he stood third at the end of the day after suffered a broken tierod on the second stage of the second leg. Red Rooster Racing’s Vikram Mathias, expected to the most serious competitors to Team MRF, ended his chance of a second successive title when he succumbed to the testing terrain.

On the second stage of the first leg, Mathias ran a flat tyre. The seasoned pro pushed his luck and eventually ran into a tree stump three kilometers from the finish line, breaking the car’s tierod in half. The team did try to fix the problem but the time consumed meant his day was over. Mathias, who has two points from the Coimbatore rally, will try to Saturday’s three stages as he looks for overall points in the Indian National Rally Championship.

“Today was an extremely fast-paced day. We were doing speeds of over 170 in very short stretches,” said leader Balu. “I will not push the car as hard tomorrow as I did today.”

A day that began brightly ended badly for Red Rooster after their Coimbatore winner Amittrajit Ghosh ran into all sorts of trouble with their 2000cc Cedia.

The same tree stump at stage two that dislodged Mathias’ chances claimed its second victim in Ghosh, who lost six minutes. He then ran a flat tyre on the third stage, followed by suspension trouble. At the service point, the team failed to stay within the Maximum Permitted Limit (MPL), a 20-minute break, meaning curtains to their campaign.

DH News Service

Results (day-one): 2000cc: Arjun Balu/ Sujith Kumar (00:42:04) 1; Arjun Rao Aroor/ Sathish Kumar (00:44:35) 2; Gaurav Singh Gill (00:44:59) 3; Dominic Prithvi/ Vinod Gowda (00:48:20) 4.

1600cc: Joseph Jos/ Royce Kizhakoodan (00:47:11) 1; S Sujay/ Varun S (00:47:46) 2; Philippos Mathai/ Chandrashekar (00:48:10) 3; Yogeshwar Singh Gill/ Sajan Preet (00:48:17) 4.

1400cc: Vikram Devadasan/ Nikhil Pai (00:46:39) 1; Shailender Hegde/ Sheraz Ahmed (00:47:24) 2; Deepak Chinnappa/ Sri Karunya (00:47:51) 3; Abhijeet Pai/ Sathvik GA (00:48:00) 4.

RSC (Rally Star Cup): Karna Kadur/ Samonita Ghosh (00:48:29) 1; Pahlguna Urs/ Anoop Kumar (00:49:01) 2; Balaram CG/ Raghuram CG (00:50:31) 3; Arjun Gurudev/ Devaiah B (00:50:40) 4.

Gypsies: Ravi Aggarwal/ Sandeep Sharma (00:50:27) 1; Anil Wadia/ Prajwal Pai (00:51:07) 2; Pramon Raman/ Ravi Kumar (00:51:46) 3; Shafeeq UR/ Naveen YG (00:52:21) 4.

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