Chikmagalur Rally from Nov 20

Chikmagalur Rally from Nov 20

For the first time in recent years, the race for the championship is wide open not just in the overall category but also in five other categories with the chasing pack not far behind the leaders.

MRF’s 2000cc N+ driver Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) leads the overall standings with 31 points. Arjun Balu (co-driver Sujith Kumar) trails his team-mate by just four points while Red Rooster Racing’s (RRR) Amittrajit Ghosh is tied with MRF’s Arjun Aroor Rao in third place on 25 points.

Defending champion Vikram Mathias, who failed to finish in the opening three races, pulled off a stunning victory in the fourth leg at Nashik on November 1 to gather 18 points and press his case for Chikmagalur, although retaining the title seems an improbable task now. However, with a new Mitsubishi Cedia to drive with, the RRR front-man said he believed another surprise could be in store.

“It is very surprising to be in this situation. After the end of third race in Kolkata, until which I could manage only two points, I had almost given up until the stunner in Nashik. But now, my attitude has changed and I hope to pull off another surprise in Chikmagalur,” Mathias told reporters on Wednesday.

The Rally of Chikmagalur will cover a total distance of 549.43 km, including 109.3 km of Special Stages. The three-day event will kick off with the Super Special Stage on Friday before moving to the two Special Stages at Birur and Kuvempu University.

“It is wonderful to be back in Chikmagalur. Also, the decision on K-1000 winner is yet to be made.

“It is hard to predict who will bag the overall championship and with such a close contest, fans at the coffee estate town can expect some thrilling action,” said Mathias.