Aroor surges ahead in National Rally ChampionshipBy IANS
Saturday, December 4, 2010
BANGALORE - Team MRF was poised for a 1-2 finish in the Karnataka-1000 Rally, the fourth round of the Speed-Indian National Rally Championship, here Saturday.
Arjun Rao Aroor (co-driver Satish Rajagopal) of Team MRF led teammate Lohitt Urs (Shrikant Gowda) by 16 seconds, heading into Sundays four kms Super Special Stage and is thus virtually assured of the Overall title.
After the chaotic first day, the second running of the four Special Stages Saturday was virtually free of incidents as Aroor made the best of the situation that had the trio of front-runners, VR Naren Kumar and Vikram Mathias of Red Rooster Racing and defending National champion Gaurav Gill (MRF) falling by the wayside.
Gill, who had packed up due to mechanical problems Friday, rejoined the event on the Super Rally format and gained three valuable Leg points, being the fastest driver through the four Stages.
Overnight leader Mathias had a disastrous start when the fuel line gave way on the very first Stage and lost a lot of time to finish third in his class (2000cc, N+).
Meanwhile, local siblings, CG Balaram and CG Raghuram topped in the 1400cc class, apart from finishing third Overall.
In all, 18 of the 21 cars that started on Saturday completed the course, while the fate of 20 other contestants who had pulled out of the event on Friday protesting the rough surface of the second Stage, was still to be known as none of them drove on Saturday.
Provisional unaudited results:
Overall: 1. Arjun Rao Aroor / Satish K Rajagopal (Team MRF) 1 hour, 47mins, 17.6 secs); 2. Lihitt V Urs / Srikanth Gowda (MRF) 1:47:33.1secs; 3. Balram CG / Raghuram CG
(Pvt) 02: 02:54.8secs.
2000cc (N+ class): 1. Aroor / Rajagopal (MRF) 1:47:17.6; 2. Urs / Gowda (MRF) 1:47:33.1; 3. Vikram Mathias / PV Srinivasa Murthy (Red Rooster Racing) 2:12:17.9.
1400cc: Balram CG / Raghuram CG 2:02:54.8; 2. Rattan N Gangadhar / Nikunj GN (Pvt) 2:58:13.6.
Rally Star Cup: 1. Kaushik H Shinde / Ninad A Mirajgaonkar (Pvt) 2:07:18.1; 2. Dr Dhirendra Kumar / Ravi Raidurg 2:07:56.6; 3. Aditya S / Kariappa KB (Pvt) 2:11:0.9.
Gypsy: 1. Amrinder Brar / Himanshu (Army Adventure Wing) 2:03:09.5; 2. Shakti Bajaj / Dharmesh Sinha (AAW) 2:08:08.3; 3. Harpreet Singh Sidhu / Hardevinder S Brar 2:12:05.4.