Rally of Rajasthan: Gaurav Gill takes comfortable second INRC victory of 2017
After Round 2 was postponed due to heavy rains in Chennai last month, the 2017 Indian Rally Championship regrouped in Jaipur, Rajasthan for Round 3 of the season.
The rally kicked off on Saturday with a night stage (SS1), where Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) built a handy 34 second advantage over Mahindra Adventure teammate Amittrajit Ghosh (co-driver Ashwin Naik).
The Asia Pacific Rally Championship driver went on to win three more stages (SS3, SS4 & SS5) on Sunday to complete the six stages and take 2017 season's second win in his Mahindra XUV500 with a total time of 57m23.9s.
Meanwhile, Ghosh was trying to keep with his teammate having won SS2, but an extra four minutes taken in SS5 dropped him in fifth overall and second in INRC, with a total time of 1hr03m19.5s.
The Kolkata-born driver's mishap allowed INRC 3 class winner Dean Mascarenhas (co-driver Shruptha Padival) to finish second in his Volkswagen Polo - completing the rally in 1hr03.1s.
In third overall was the INRC 2 winner Rahul Kanthraj (co-driver Vivek Y Bhatt) in the Mitsubishi Cedia, who managed to sneak a win in SS6, covering the rally in 1hr02m31.3s.
The INRC 3 class second placed driver Saddam Ali Saikh (co-driver Abhijeet Singh) was classified fourth overall in his Mitsubishi Cedia, ahead of aforementioned Ghosh.
The Top 3 in INRC 3 was completed by sixth placed Daraius Shroff (co-driver Nitin Jacob) in the Volkswagen Polo, followed by Dhruva Chandrasekar (co-driver Jeevarathinam) in Mitsubishi Cedia, Byram Godrej (co-driver A.A.Rangnekar) in Volkswagen Polo and Punyabrata Barma (co-driver Mrinmoy Saha) also in Volkswagen Polo - to round out the Top 9.
Behind, in 10th was the second placed INRC 2 Mitsubishi Cedia of Younus Ilyas (co-driver Harish Kumar), followed by Jacob KJ (co-driver Monaj Mahnan) in Volkswagen Polo to complete the rostrum positions.
The 16-driver entry list saw 12 finishers with reigning champions Karna Kadur (co-driver Nikhil V Pai) in the Volkswagen Polo among the retirements from the rally in Stage 5.
The 2017 championship now heads to Arunachal Pradesh for Round 4, the Rally of Arunachal, during the October 27-29 weekend.