Sidhu, Michael triumph in Desert Storm rally

Sunday, February 27, 2011

NEW DELHI - In a dramatic turn of events, veteran Sunny Sidhu (co-driver Rohit Michael) won the Xtreme category title after overnight leader Harpreet Singh Bawa (Parminder) lost over an hour following the failure of his vehicle’s four-wheel drive as the Maruti Suzuki 9th Desert Storm Rally concluded here Sunday.

Sidhu, who trailed Bawa by nearly 10 minutes going into the final three Special Stages, benefitted from the leaders misfortune in SS-7. Bawa, although quickest in the remaining two Stages, finished sixth.

I lost the four-wheel drive in the seventh stage and it cost me over an hour. Thereafter, I pushed hard, but it was too much to make up, said Bawa.

Finishing second behind Sidhu was Ravinder Singh (Gunpreet) who also moved up a position while Gaurav Chirpal (Nikhil Pai) came in third.

Bangalores Rajanna Natarajan, the 26-year old from TVS Racing team, emerged champion in the two-wheeler category despite losing over 30 minutes on the very first day of the week-long event that covered 3,500 Kms after starting from Ahmedabad.

I managed to cover up for the 30 minutes that I lost on the first day. The event was very tough, but I am happy I won, said Natarajan who had finished second last year.

In the other two categories, overnight leaders Sanjay Takale (Ndure) and Mukul Budhia (Xplore) easily defended their positions to take the top honours.

The results (Final, provisional):

Xtreme (Overall and Modified, T1): Sunny Sidhu / Rohit Michael 1 (14hrs, 35mins, 06secs); Ravinder Singh / Gunpreet 2 (14:39:54); Gaurav Chirpal / Nikhil Pai 3 (14:56:03). Xtreme (Stock, T2): Dharam Pal Jangra / Vijuraj N 1 (16:15:23); Manoj Vaidya / Paritosh Kohok 2 (16:15:45); Afzal Zaheen 3 (16:52:09).

Ndure: Sanjay Takale / Rahul Sancheti 1 (05:26); SK Prasad / Shankar Anand 2 (05:33); Rajsingh Rathore / Chandrasekar M 3 (09:08).

Xplore: Mukul Budhia / Amit Patel 1 (06:45); Tejinder Singh / G Raja Natarajan 2 (06:46); Dr Saurabh Choudhary / Capt Nitin Anand 3 (31:35).

Moto / Quad: Rajanna Nataraj (TVS Racing) 1 (11:55:37); Bhalla Ram Suthar 2 (12:07:05); Jesdavid 3 (13:44:00).

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