They were a couple of seconds faster than the Indian National Rally Championship 2012 winner Lohitt Urs and co-driver Sujith Kumar BS of Team PGA Motorsports. The Mysore star stole the thunder to put in two laps of stunning drifts and a daring dash on the straights with his Bangalore navigator BS Sujit Kumar in their Mitsubishi Cedia to comfortably win the IMG Sports 38th K-1000 rally, the first leg of the Indian National Rally Championship. The Horizon-sponsored team clocked 2 minutes 55.2 seconds to cover the 2.6 km SSS in the 2000cc N class while Amittrajit Ghosh and co-driver Ashwin Naik had to be content with a second place. The Kolkata-Mangalore pair clocked 3 minutes. Karna Kadur and co-driver Somonnita Ghosh, the only lady driver in the championship, finished. Karna-Ghosh timed 3 min 02 seconds.
``We really enjoyed the rally this year as the stages were challenging and demanding with the stock cars and pace notes really made a difference. The credit should go to my navigator Sujit,''said Lohitt Urs. The Karnataka Motor Sports Club-organised first leg will be followed by Mysore, Chikmagalur and Nashik for this year's four-leg national championship. Team Kajah Motorsports' A Zuhin and celebrated Navigator Musa Sherif had a good run today, even if it is only for a few minutes. ``Unlike the stages yesterday, we were able to manouvre the 4-wheel drive and get the power to the ground. It is a joy to drive this car,'' quipped Zuhin from Kuttikanam.
In the 1600cc category of the Indian National Rally Championship, Aditya S and co-driver Kariyappa KB put paid to the hopes of veteran Siddharth Ragnekar and Nitin Jacob. Prakhyat H Shirole and co-driver SM Bharath finished third in the class. Young talented teenager Dean Mascarenhas impressed with his driving skills and along with navigator Shruptha Padiwal was street ahead of their nearest rivals to win the Junior INRC. The Mangalore duo thrilled the spectators in their Esteem today with their slides and drifts. Karan AM (co-driver Shanmuga SM) came second while Vineet Tom Vincent and Sob George finished third. Out of the 41 cars which started the rally only 25 managed to finish.