Resilient Arjun takes overall honours

Resilient Arjun takes overall honours

Bangalore's Devadasen clinches 2000cc class

Resilient Arjun takes overall honours

Arjun Rao and his navigator Satish Rajagopal clocked the fastest time in the 1600 cc category of the fifth and final round of the Indian National Rally Championship to claim the overall title in the Coffee Day Rally here on Sunday.

Despite having to drive with a problematic steering column on increasingly demanding routes, the Mangalore-Bangalore combination completed the two of the three Special Stage rounds in a overall time of one hour, 55 minutes and 06.7 seconds in their Volkswagen Polo.

The third round of the rally was cancelled after former Asia Pacific Rally Championhip champ Karamjit Singh (navigator Jagdev Singh) crashed his Volkswagen Polo R2, blocking the route.

“We had to drive very carefully due to the bent steering ball-joint which we couldn’t repair due to lack of time. We somehow managed to finish the two stages,” said the 30-year old Rao, who ended the season in second spot behind Amittrajit Ghosh. Bangalore’s Vikram Devadasen (navigator Ashwin Naik) drove their Cedia to the fullest of its abilities to win in the 2000cc category and second behind Rao in the overall standings.

Sirish Chandran (navigator Nikhil Pai) of Slideways Industries finished second in the 1600 cc category but their timing of 2::00:40.7 was still good enough to earn them the third spot overall.

Provisional classification: INRC (overall): Arjun Rao/ Satish Rajagopal (VW Polo, 1::55:06.7) 1; Vikram Devadasen/ Ashwin Naik (Mitsubishi Cedia, 1::59:56.5) 2; Sirish Chandran/ Nikhil Pai (Slideways Industries, VW Polo, 2::00:40.7) 3.

INRC (2000cc): Vikram/ Ashwin (1::59:56.5) 1; Prithvi Dominic/ Ravindra MS (Mitsubishi Cedia, 2::01:04.5) 2; Dr Bikku Babu/ George Verghese (Mitsubishi Cedia, 2::05:10.7) 3.
INRC (1600cc): Arjun/ Satish (1::55:06.7) 1; Sirish/ Nikhil (2::00:40.7) 2; Hrishikesh Thackersey/ Ninad Mirajgaonkar (VW Polo, 2::05:40.0) 3.

JINRC: Rohan Pawar/ Arjun Mehta (Slideways Industries, VW Polo, 2::05:21.2) 1; Dhruva C/ Roopesh BC (Maruti Esteem, 2::06:36.6) 2; Ashika Menezes/ Lokesh Gowda (Maruti Esteem, 2::16:08.4) 3.

SUV NRC: Sunny Sidhu/ PVS Murthy (Mahindra Adventure Rally, XUV 500, 1::56:13.7) 1; Lohitt Urs/ Bonnie Thomas (Mahindra Adventure Rally, XUV 500, 2::01:08.9) 2.

IRC: Sumit Panjabi/ Venu Ramesh Kumar (Mitsubishi Cedia, 2::08:13.7) 1; Shyam Chellappan/ Sob George (Maruti Baleno, 2::23:39.2) 2.

New: Vikram Mathias/ Vivek Ponnusamy (Team Jungle Hut, Volkswagen Polo TDI, 2::04:19.9).