Umakanth-Shetty duo wrest narrow lead

Umakanth-Shetty duo wrest narrow lead

The Mangalore duo, who are rallying together after a long gap, came up with a fine show on the day that started in Bangalore and culminated in this coffee town after a 350-km journey.

Ashish Budhia and co-driver Abhijith Sinha from Jharkhand are in second place with 51 seconds penalty while the Chikamagalur duo of Joshy and Shrikanth are in third spot with penalty of one minute.

"The first control was tricky,” said Umakanth. "We worked very hard to ensure that we made minimal mistakes and were hoping to be in the first three. We are happy that we are leading but there is hardly 4 seconds difference between us and the next competitor and the next two days could make a lot of difference. We hope for the best,” he added.

"The quality of competiton has been excellent and we are very happy the way the rally is moving,” said Musa Sherif, the clerk of the course. Day two will begin on Saturday and the rallyists are expected to reach Mysore in the evening. The third day, Sunday, would see them do a loop around Mysore before returning to Bangalore.

Provisional results (upto TC 10): Umakanth Alva & Sunil Shetty (Mangalore) 0.47 secs, 1; Ashish Budhia & Abhijith Sinha (Jharkand) 0.51 secs, 2; G S Joshi & Shrikanth G M (Chikamagalur) 1.00 min, 3.

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