Harpal Singh Bedi
Bengaluru: Delhi-based Gaurav Gill, the seven-times National champion and thrice winner of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally titles, dug deep into all his experience as he, along with co-driver Musa Sherif, successfully drove a damaged Mahindra XUV 300 to win the 45th Karnataka-1000 Rally on Sunday.
A windscreen, electrical and turbo issues besides brake failure did not deter Gill as he displayed his driving skills to claim the title
In the process, he negotiated a strong challenge from Younus Ilyas (Anirudha Ranganekar) of Race Concepts who finished Overall second, about 15 seconds behind, while Fabid Ahmer (Sanath G) was placed third.
It was Gill’s seventh K-1000 title while for Sherif, from Kasargod, it was a memorable victory that marked his 300th Rally milestone.
Ahmer topped in the INRC-2 category while the Himachal combination of Aditya Thakur and co-driver Virender Kashyap,
Overall winners in Coimbatore, last month, took the honours in the INRC-3 category, and Mumbai’s daughter-mother pairing of Shivani and Vani Parmar won in the INRC-4 class.
The Junior INRC category had just two finishers with Coimbatore’s Raghuram Saminathan (Bharath SM, Bengaluru) winning ahead of Shivani Pruthvi from Davangere (Ruthvik Praveen, Tiptur).
“Undoubtedly, today’s win is very satisfying considering the difficult weekend we had and the non-finish in the Coimbatore round. We had electrical problems, a damaged windscreen when the bonnet flew open in the very first Stage. So, we lost a bit of time as we had to stop and lock the bonnet. Then, in the last Stage, I had to negotiate the last six-seven Kms without brakes which again cost us time. But in the end, I am happy we finished the Rally and won,” said Gill.
Chandigarh’s Samrat Yadav (M Chandrashekar, Bengaluru) emerged champion in the non-championship FMSCI Gypsy Challenge category.
Of the 53 entrants, 31 completed the two-day Rally, the second round of the FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship with MRF Tyres as the Associate Sponsor, on Sunday near the town of Gubbi, about 100 Kms from Bengaluru
The final day’s proceedings were delayed due to interruptions of SS-8 following mishaps.