Harpal Singh Bedi
Coimbatore: Luck favoured Himachal Pradesh’s Aditya Thakur, (co-driver Virender Kashyap ), as he drove to a dream-win in the Rally of Coimbatore, the first round of the Indian National Rally Championship here on Sunday while his many rivals dropped out due to various issues with their vehicles.
Favourite and 7-times National champion Gaurav Gill (Musa Sherif), overnight leader Karna Kadur (Nikhil Pail), Amittrajit Ghosh (Ashwin Naik) who led briefly today after moving up from overnight fourth, and Dean Mascarenhas (Gagan Karumbaiah), who was placed third overall going into Leg-2 today, dropped out thus opening up the road for 32-year old Thakur’s maiden win.
Gill, who had retired yesterday with an electrical problem, but rejoined today under the Super Rally format, was the quickest for much of the day until his second retirement while Palakkad’s Fabid Ahmer (G Sanath) was among the most impressive performers on the day by clocking some fast times which took him up the leader board and finish Overall second, and first in INRC-2 category
The winners in the other categories were: Mujeeb Rehman (Ravindra Kumar) in INRC-4, Raghuram Saminathan (Bharath Sargur) in Junior INRC and Rupender Sheoran (Mohit Malik) in FMSCI Gypsy Challenge.
Thakur, taking part in the INRC-3 category but eligible for Overall classification, in the process recorded his maiden Overall win in a National Championship since his INRC debut in 2018, also at Coimbatore. “I am absolutely delighted with my maiden win in the National championship. We made a small mistake yesterday which put us in second position overnight. Today, I decided to just go for it and did not back off though I was a bit careful.
“The MRF tyres were simply fantastic in terms of the grip and durability. Also, Chettinad Sporting built this car like a tank. So, I was able to push.” He added.
A very dejected Kadur said: “We had to pack up due to some electrical issues which we are trying to understand and sort out. We started having issues like drop in power towards the end of today’s first Stage. Then, two Kms into the second Stage, the car stalled entering a corner. We tried everything to start and continue, but just couldn’t. It is another learning lesson, though expensive in terms of losing from a winning position.”