Aroor bags Overall honours in K-1000 Rally

Sunday, December 5, 2010

BANGALORE - Arjun Rao Aroor (co-driver Satish Rajagopal) of Team MRF finally emerged from the shadows to win his first Overall title in five years as he clinched the honours in the Karnataka-1000 Rally here Sunday.

The 27-year old Aroors victory was a mere formality as he enjoyed a 16-second lead over team-mate Lohitt V. Urs (Shrikant Gowda) going into the four kms Super Special Stage and he nursed the lead to emerge winner, his first Overall title since Delhi 2005.

Urs was the quickest Sunday as he shaved off nearly six seconds, but eventually, the deficit proved far too much to make up as Aroor came in second on the tight and twisty stage that was more a strain on the engines than the drivers.

It obviously feels great to win the overall title, my first since 2005. At least, it will now silence my critics who all along have been saying I did not have the pace to win.

I finally got a car that was just about right and although I had some problems in the past two days due to wrong tyre choice and a rear suspension that gave away, I thought I was on pace through the Rally, said Aroor after he brought home the Mitsubishi Cedia Lancer (N+) in one piece.

Aroor attributed his success to the stint in the Malaysian Championship last year when he won the Group N title and said that he had learnt much from the exposure.

The biggest gain from Malaysian championship exposure was the changes I made in my pace notes. Karamjit Singh (former P-WRC champion) taught me a better way of making pace notes and that has made a huge difference, said Aroor.

Aroor no doubt benefitted from the retirements of more fancied Red Rooster Racing pair of Naren Kumar and Vikram Mathias besides team-mate Gaurav Gill, but kept his foot on the pedal like never before to emerge the deserving winner.

The Super Special Stage did not provide much excitement to the huge crowd that had turned up. The track was far too tight and even the Esteems could not be run in a gear higher than second.

Thus, the event, marred by the withdrawal of some 20 cars of the 40 that had entered, ended as it had begun - a lot of noise and dust, but little substance.

In fact, contrary to the claims of the organisers, the FIA, World governing body for motorsport, even cancelled the permit under which the K-1000 was allowed to be run as a contender for Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

The provisional final classifications:

Overall: Arjun Rao Aroor / Satish Rajagopal (Team MRF) 1 (1hr, 53mins, 22.7secs); Lohitt V Urs / Shrikant Gowda (MRF) 2 (01:53:32.6); Balaram CG / Raghuram CG (Pvt) 3 (02:09:35.8).

2000cc (N+): Aroor / Rajagopal 1; Urs / Gowda 2; Vikram Mathias / PV Srinivasa Murthy (Red Rooster Racing) 3 (02:18:38.4).

1400cc: Balaram / Raghuram 1; Rattan N Gangadhar / Nikunj GN (Pvt) 2 (02:57:02.3).

Rally Star Cup: Kaushik H Shinde / Ninad A Mirajgaonkar (Pvt) 1 (02:14.15.8); Dr Dhirendra Kumar / Ravi Raidurg (Pvt) 2 (02:14:54.0); Adithya S / Kariyappa KB (Pvt) 3 (02:18:00.4).

Gypsy: Amrindar Brar / Himamshu Pareek (Army Adventure Wing) 1 (02:09:40.6); Shakti Bajaj / Dharmesh Sinha (AAW) 2 (02:15:01.1); Harpreet Singh Sidhu / Harvinder S Brar 3 (02:18:54.5).

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