Gaurav Gill snatches lead in K-1000 Rally

Bengaluru, Nov 23 (PTI):Ace rally driver Gaurav Gill exhibited his skills to take the lead in the Champions Yacht Club FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship here on Saturday on an incident-packed day,which saw crashes and breakdowns.

The JK Tyre Motorsport drivers car too bore the brunt of the K-1000 Rallys punishing stages along with many other favourites; but he still managed to be ahead of the 50- strong pack, exhibiting caution and control, rather than speed and aggression as is his wont.

He and the wily Musa Sherif won SS1 and SS3 and finished fourth in SS2 and third in SS4 to garner a healthy lead of almost 50 seconds going into the second and final day.

His teammate Karna Kadur (co-driver Nikhil Pai), after two disappointing rounds, showed his mettle to take the second position behind Gill in the INRC class.

Arka Motorsports Karna even won SS4 with an impressive timing of 12:24.

Championship leader Fabid Ahmer opted for the smart option, driving steadily in each of the four stages, with the finishing post in his mind.

He was in the sixth position at the end of the day and could well go full throttle on the big day.

If his strategy works, with a handy overall lead of 22 points over Gill, the INRC 3 contestant (with Sanath G as co-driver) can hope to go into the last round in Kochi next month as the championship leader.

The Team Champions driver, however, would be watching another JK driver carefully: Dean Mascarenhas.

The local lad (with Shruptha Padivel) was within striking distance of him, taking the third position after Day 1.

Trailing by just 7 points to Fabids 49 in the race for the INRC title, another good run from him could see a change in the leader-board.

Mascarenhas, meanwhile, continued to hold sway in the INRC2 category, although he had Dr Bikku Babu (Milen George) breathing down his neck.

The good doctor was the clear surprise package of the day, going past the winning post in SS2; he even left Gill in his wake in SS4, taking the second place to Gills third, and claimed the fifth position in SS3 and the 6th in SS1 to boast of the best show of the day.

In the INRC 3 class, Chetan Shivram (Dilip Sharan) surprised the category leader Fabid, taking 54:28.

The INRC 4 saw Vaibhav Marate suffering a setback, withdrawing from the first stage itself after a mechanical problem.

He should, however, be back in action on Sunday to put his title aspirations back on track. PTI SS NVG NVG

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting.