Balu-Sujith lead MRF dominance

Motor Sport: K-1000 Rally: Fancied Gill-Sharif duo occupies second position


RED HOT: Arjun Balu (co-driver Sujith Kumar) in full steam on the second day of the K-1000 rally on Saturday. DH Photo

Team MRF completed a sweep of the podium places with Gaurav Gill (1: 29:36) second and Arjun Rao Aroor (1:35:16) third.

Balu, who enjoyed a two-minute, 56-second lead on day one, negotiated the day’s six stages on his troubled 2000cc Cedia. After a quick first stage and a quicker second, his car suffered an oil leak, slowing him down during the third stage. On the second leg, the team encountered electrical problems but the experienced driver held his nerve.

“It was a very difficult day. The track was very unforgiving and we ran into some big problems with the car,” said Balu. “We had to refill oil at the end of every stage. I am very glad two more of my team-mates have made it to the podium.”

The fancied Gill clocked some of the fastest times in leg one on Saturday, but his story of the season continued he was held up by a non-engaging gearbox and an engine misfire. But the Delhiite made up for poor luck with skill to move ahead of Aroor.

Aroor, second overnight, dropped a couple of minutes after a tyre misjudgment. Opting to drive with non-cut tyres, suited to a dry surface, proved costly owing to Friday night’s rains. Aroor switched to wet tyres on the second leg but by then, the track had dried up!
Red Rooster’s dramatic tale of woe continued. Vikram Mathias, fighting to grab three points, had nowhere to go after his engine seized on the second stage of the second leg.

Amittrajit Ghosh too proved a gritty competitor with a very good display of aggression, especially in the second leg. But the 24-year-old ran into a tree in the last stage of the second leg, losing four minutes and, with it, any chance of scoring a point.

DH News Service

Results (overall timings): 2000cc: Arjun Balu/ Sujith Kumar (1:29:36) 1; Gaurav Gill/ Musa Sherif (1:32:37) 2; Arjun Rao Aroor/ Sathish (1:35:16) 3; Dominic Prithvi/ Vinod Gowda (1:40:44) 4.

1600cc: Joseph Jos/ Royce Kizhakoodan (1:37:07) 1; S Sujay/ Varun S (1:39:21) 2; Rahul Kanthraj/ Vivek Bhatt (1:39:30) 3; Yogeshwar Singh Gill/ Vinay Shekhar (1:39:37) 4.

1400cc: Vikram Devadasen/ Nikhil Pai (1:38:12) 1; Jose Francis/ Manoj M (1:42:59) 2; Samarth Gowda/ SM Bharath (1:44:33) 3; Abhijit Pai/ Sathvik PA (1:48:31) 4.

RSC: Phalguna Urs/ Anoop Kumar (1:44:11) 1; Elias Thomas/ George (1:44:21) 2; Balaram CG/ Raghuram CG (1:44:23) 3; Harikeshav Nambiar/ Ashwin Nadig (1:45:56) 4.

Gypsy: Sandeep Sharma/ Anmol Rampal (1:44:54) 1; Khushwant Randhawa/ Harminder (1:46:54) 2; Sanjay Agarwal/ Chetan Shivaram (1:47:01) 3; Shafeeq Ur Rahman/ Naveen YG (1:47:28) 4.

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