Bengaluru, Nov 24 (PTI) Ace rally driver Gaurav Gill and his JK Tyre Motorsport teammates had a forgettable day as they bit the dust early on the final day of the K-1000 Rally, round four of the Champions Yacht Club FMSCI National Rally Championship, allowing Chetan Shivram and Bikku Babu to claim top honours here on Sunday.
Shivram and Dr Babucapitalised on the the pull-outs by most of the heavyweights to stage a dramatic comeback for MRF and made it a 1-2 for the team.
They negotiated the carefully laid out but treacherous stages which proved challenging for several of the others.
Starting from the fifth and fourth positions, Chetan and Babu preserved their cars before going allout in the final stage to take the top two spots.
Competing for the first time after the ill-fated Jodhpur rally, defending champion and overnight leader Gill was among the biggest casualties as he pulled out in the morning itself, with his car refusing to even start after the belting it received on the opening day.
He and his JK Tyre Motorsport teammates, the hot favourites for the top places, bit the dust, allowing a free run to the MRF team.
Aksharas Chetan Shivram, who had won round two also in almost similar fashion, emerged as the overall INRC Championship leader with this victory.
Along withDilip Sharanas co-driver, he won in the INRC 3 category too, with an overall timing of1:47:37:300 hours.
Shivrams time was just 12 seconds faster than Babus(co-driver Milen George) of Team Champions, who pursued him relentlessly all through the day.
Babu finished ahead of Shivram in the days first stage, SS5, and even beat him to the post in the last one, SS8, but that wasnt good enough to topple him.
It, however, fetched him the INRC 2 trophy.
After the exit of Gill, order seemed to have been restored, with another JK participant Dean Mascarenhas winning SS5.
However, he faltered in the next stage, leaving the field for championship leader Fabid Ahmer.
But the MRF driver, who was nursing his car carefully, suffered a puncture in the next and tumbled out.
In the SUV Challenge, Gagan Karumbaiahof Team Champions took the first place to all but seal the 2019 title.
Provisional results: INRC Overall: 1. Chetan Shivram/Dilip Sharan (Akshara) - 1:47:37:300 hrs; 2. Bikku Babu/Milen George (Team Champions) - 1:47:49.900; 3.
Amittrajit Ghosh/Ashwin Naik (Mahindra Adventure) - 1:51:04.
INRC-2: 1. Babu/Milen George (Team Champions) 1:47:49.900 hrs; 2.Sahil Khanna/Rajit Kadian (Snap Racing) - 1:52:00.200; 3) Younus Ilyas/Harish Gowda 04:50:24.200.
INRC-3: 1. Chetan Shivram/Dilip Sharan (Akshara) 1:47:37:300 hrs; 2. Jacob KJ/Murthy PVS (Arka Motorsports) 1:53:35.600; 3) Pradeep Kumar/Ahammad Ansary (Pipe & Pipe) 2:19:58.000.
INRC-4: 1.Mujeeb Rahman/Gautham CP (Privateer) 1:55:17.900 hrs; 2.Shirole Prakhyat H/Bharat S M (Privateer) 1:57.16.300; 3. Satish Peddineni/Vinay Kumar P M (Team Champions) 2:33:19.500.
SUV Challenge: 1. Gagan Karumbaiah/Thimmu Uddapanda (Team Champions) 1:75:22.600 hrs;2. Thomas Kuncheria M/Dwarakanth Sudarshan(Privateer)02:13:41.200; 3. Sanjay Agarwal/Smitha N (Team Champions) 05:03::07.100. PTI SS NVG NVG