Gaurav Gill wins Round 1 of Indian National Rally Championship

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Gaurav Gill (left) with his co-driver Musa Sherif
Gaurav Gill (left) with his co-driver Musa Sherif

Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) [India], December 17 (ANI): Ace Indian rallyist Gaurav Gill began his Champions Yacht Club-FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2020 with a bang by winning the Rally of Arunachal in style here on Thursday.

Gaurav driving on JK Tyre took a total of 56:55.200 minutes to complete eight special stages and recorded a victory by a margin of an impressive 4:25.700 minutes over Karna Kadur. Dean Mascarenhas finished third overall with a time of 1:02:30.500 hour.

The three-time APRC champion was in his ominous best and even a flat tyre on the final stage could not stop him from underlining his supremacy in the opening round. Gaurav along with co-driver Musa Sherif got off to a thrilling start and after opening up a considerable lead on the opening day which witnessed four thrilling night stages; it was all about driving safe and bringing his XUV300 home.

However, that did not stop him from going full throttle and he drove like a man possessed to win three on day four to increase his lead further. In the final stage, he had a flat tyre just two kilometres away from the flying start but he still managed to finish which was enough for him to draw the first blood.

"It was a great start to the season. The stages were really fast and I enjoyed driving here. The car has been fantastic and there is absolutely nothing I could complain about. We made some adjustments to the car from last year and it has worked wonders. And all I could say is, me behind the wheels of a car like this on tarmac is just the perfect combination," an ecstatic Gaurav said.

While it was business as usual for the big guns, it was the young Bengaluru women's team of Pragathi Gowda and co-driver Deeksha Balakrishna who impressed everyone with their performance on their debut outing. Representing Team Vasundhara, an all-woman's rally team, Pragathi posted a total time of 01:07:53.400 hour to not only win the women's category ahead of her teammate and veteran Bani Yadav (& Subhkiran Pal Kaur Brar), she also won the Junior INRC Category beating the likes of Arjun Rao and Rakshith Iyer. She finished fourth in the INRC 3 category and ended ninth on the overall standing. (ANI)