Rally of Arunachal: Ghosh takes 2018's first win by just 5.9s after Gill's DNF
Following his victories in the opening two rounds of the 2018 FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship, Mahindra Adventure's Gaurav Gill with Musa Sherif started off Rally of Arunachal on a fine note leading the way in the opening day.
The Indian won the opening stage before his teammate Amittrajit Ghosh with Ashwin Naik fought back after a lowly SS1 to win SS2. Gill was back on form with wins in SS3, SS4 and SS5 but a mechanical issue forced him out of the rally in SS6.
This allowed for Ghosh to make an epic comeback in the rally on his Mahindra XUV 500 on the tarmac conditions to claim his first win of the season with a total time of 57m33.6s beating INRC2 winner Snap Racing's Phalguna Urs with Srikanth by just the 05.9s.
Remarkably, Urs on his Volkswagen Polo did well to finish a close second overall despite not winning any of the stages. INRC3 winner Team Champions Dean Mascarnehas with Shruptha Padival finished third overall in the Volkswagen Polo.
Fourth overall and second in INRC2 went to Arka Motorsports Karna Kadur with PVS Murthy in the Volkswagen Polo - he won in SS7. It was a close fight with INRC2 podium finisher and fifth overall Rahul Kanthraj with Vivek Y Bhatt in the Mitsubishi Cedia.
They were helped by the retirement of SS6 winner Team Champions Bopaiah with Gagan Karumbaiah who looked good at one stage for a Top 5 finish in his Volkswagen Polo. The ARka Motorsports trio was completed by Jacob KJ with Nitin Jacob in sixth overall.
He was fourth in INRC2 driving the Volkswagen Polo. Snap Racing's Sumit Punjabi with Shahid Salman in the Mitsubishi Cedia was seventh overall and fifth INRC2 with second placed INRC3 and eighth overall was Falkon Motor Sports' Aroor Vikram Rao with Somayya.
Rao drove the Volkswagen Polo with INRC1 second placed driver and ninth overall went to Team Champions' Lokesh Gowda with Venu Ramesh Kumar in the Volkswagen Polo. The Top 10 was completed by INRC2's eighth placed Chettinad Sporting's Punyabrata Barma with Chandan Sen.
Completing the 11 finishers and also INRC3 podium was Phurpa Tsering with Chow Tiktha in the Mitsubishi Cedia as the retirement list saw Gill joined by Bopaiah, INRC3's Suhem Kabeer and INRC2's Younus Ilyas.