Coimbatore: Round 1 winner Dean Mascarenhas of Mangaluru will aim to consolidate his lead at the top of the leader-board, as the Rally of Coimbatore, Round 2 of the Champions Yacht Club FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2019, unfolds here over the weekend.
The INRC 2 driver (with co-driver Shruptha Padival) will, however, need to be at his imperious best as he tackles a 65-strong field and slushy conditions out here. He will keep his eye firmly on INRC 3’s Fabid Ahmer (co-driver Sanath.G) of Team Champions, who showed great skill and composure to take the second overall place in the Chennai round.
Dean will, however, be wary of his JK Tyre teammate Gaurav Gill, a three-time APRC champion. Gill and Musa Sherif spearhead Mahindra Adventure’s campaign, and will be looking to make amends for missing out on the top podium place in the opening round.
Gaurav had shown remarkable recovery, after struggling with his car in the initial stages, to finish third. He comes into this round on the back of a thrilling win in the Dakshin Dare and will come out all guns blazing for his seventh INRC title.
Arka Motorsport’s Rahul Kanthraj (along with Vivek Bhatt) is just a second off Gill in the overall standings and will also be a driver to look out for. He is currently second in the INRC 2 category.
Team Champions’ Arjun Rao (along with navigator Shanmuga Sundaram) will be another top driver who will look to maintain his good run in the championship. He is second in the INRC 3 category and will be keen to topple his teammate Fabid from the top spot.
The Rally of Coimbatore has attracted a record number of 65 teams, with Team Champions fielding as many as 25 teams, a record of sorts in the INRC.
The rally will span over two days covering a total distance of 141.09 kms, with 119.70 kms earmarked for eight special stages.