Harpal Singh Bedi
Bengaluru: Delhi-based Gaurav Gill and co-driver Musa Sherif (Kasargod), despite suffering a turbo problem managed to finish Day-1 on Saturday with a 29-second lead in the Karnataka-1000 Rally,
In second place Overall behind Gill is Karna Kadur (Nikhil Pai) who displayed consistent pace through the day until his Volkswagen Polo suffered a gearbox issue that could impact his performance tomorrow.
Third Overall is Kollam’s Younus Ilyas (Anirudha Ranganekar, Pune) of Race Concepts, some 10 seconds behind Kadur.
Leading the INRC-2 category is Mangaluru’s Dean Mascarenhas (Gagan Karumbaiah, Virajpet) who paced himself well for a 13-second advantage over Palakkad’s Fabid Ahmer (Sanath G) with Virajpet’s Suhem Kabeer (Jeeva Rathinam, Bengaluru) in third.
Winner of the first round in Coimbatore, Aditya Thakur (Virender Kashyap) from Himachal is placed seventh Overall, but first in INRC-3 category where he has established a healthy lead over another Himachal pairing of Kuber Sharma and Karan Aukta. In third place is Chandigarh’s Sanampreet Sekhon (Suhan Kabeer, Kodagu).
Early in the day, seven times National champion Gill set a hot pace and at the end of the first loop of the two Stages, had opened a comfortable lead. But in the second run, his Mahindra XUV 300 developed a turbo problem that cost him some precious time as the focus shifted to nursing the vehicle to the finish.
“The day began well. I got into a rhythm and the pace was good as we opened up a good lead. But unfortunately, there was a small issue with the turbo gasket that led to a leak in the turbo boost. So basically, it meant we were running on two cylinders, but I decided to push anyway. In SS-3, we lost a lot of time, but in SS-4, which was very technical, I didn’t lose too much time to Younus. Anyway, we are still safe and have a lead. Tomorrow, it will be safe and fast,” said Gill.
The SS-4 was twice interrupted after a few cars blocked the route due to crashes and mechanical failures.
The rally is the second round of the FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2021 with MRF Tyres as the Associate Sponsor. It concludes on Sunday when four more Special Stages are scheduled to be run