Despite facing a few issues with the new Super-XUV, Gill and co-driver Musa Sherif set blistering timesWatch Video Review
Gaurav Gill, the defending INRC champion, dominated the opening round of the MRF FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2018 by winning the 40th South India Rally in style in Sriperumbudur near Chennai. After scorching the track the on Day 1 with Team Mahindra Adventure's new Super-XUV, Gill and co-driver Musa Sherif went on to post faster times through all five stages of Day 2 for an aggregate timing of 1 hour and 28:43.1 minutes to complete the total distance.
Gill’s teammate, Amittrajit Ghosh, who was lagging behind in third at the end of Day 1, posted blistering times on the last three stages of Day 2 to secure a double podium for his team. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Ghosh managed to keep on the tail of Gill despite still recuperating from last season’s nasty accident. He finished the rally with an aggregate time of 1 hour 30:39.6 minutes.
As expected, Gill was ecstatic about his victory. “We had a great day and hats off to the team who have put the car together,” he said. “It’a brand new car and there were a few issues at the start but we overcame them and had a great weekend. It is a great start to the season and I am glad with the win,” he added.
The INRC 2 driver from Arka Motorsports Karna Kadur and co-driver Nikhil V Pai settled for the final place on the podium. This resulted in him winning the INRC 2 class ahead of last year’s winner Rahul Kanthraj. Meanwhile, the INRC 3 class was won by Aroor Vikram Rao and co-driver Somayya AG from Falkon Motorsports. Their teammates, Dean Mascarenhas and Shruptha Padival finished second.
The 40th South India Rally saw as many as seven teams fail to finish the rally, including Arjun Rao.
INRC: 1) Gaurav Gill/Musa Sherif (Team Mahindra Adventure) – 01:28:43.1 hours; 2) Amittrajit Ghosh/Ashwin Naik (Team Mahindra Adventure) – 1:30:39.6 hrs; 3) Karna Kadur/Nikhil V Pai (Arka Motorsports) – 01:30:59.4 hrs.
INRC 1: 1) Gaurav Gill/Musa Sherif (Team Mahindra Adventure) – 01:28:43.1 hours; 2) Amittrajit Ghosh/Ashwin Naik (Team Mahindra Adventure) – 1:30:39.6 hrs; 3) Vicky Chandhok/Chandramouli M (VW Motorsport) – 01:34:31.7 hrs.
INRC 2: 1) Karna Kadur/Nikhil V Pai (Arka Motorsports) – 01:30:59.4 hours; 2) Rahul Kanthraj/Vivek Y Bhatt (Arka Motorsports) – 1:32:45.6 hrs; 3) Sumit Punjabi/Shahid Salman (Snap Racing) – 1:35:53.4 hrs.
INRC 3: 1) Aroor Vikram Rao/Somayya AG (Falkon Motorsports) – 01:31:55.5 hours; 2) Dean Mascarenhas/Shruptha Padival (Falkon Motorsports) – 1:32:37.3 hrs; 3) Fabid Ahmer/Fayaz Arakkal – 1:33:00.5 hrs.
FMSCI 2WD: 1) Adith KC/Suraj K – 1:33:28.7 hrs; 2) Suraj Thomas/Sob George – 1:36:29.5 hrs; 3) Ravi MS/Priyamvada Saradhi – 1:41:17.5 hrs.