2021 INRC: Karna Kadur wins South India Rally, APRC Round 1

    Aditya Thakur and co-driver Virender Kashyap emerged as the 2021 INRC champions, but the result is still provisional.

    Published On Mar 28, 2022 05:31:00 PM


    Listen to this Article

    The South India Rally in Chennai doubled up as the final round of the 2021 Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) as well as the opening round of the 2022 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Arka Motorsports’ Karna Kadur and co-driver Nikhil Pai won both events, as Gaurav Gill and Musa Sherif retired with a mechanical failure.

    Chettinad Sporting’s Aditya Thakur and co-driver Virender Kashyap were also crowned INRC champions. However, this is just provisional, subject to the outcome of an appeal pending before the Indian Motor Sports Appeal Court. The 2021 edition of the INRC spilled over into 2022 due to several COVID-19 related delays. As a result, the championship was shortened to just three rounds.

    • South India Rally hosts INRC finale and 2022 APRC Round 1
    • Gill 2nd in APRC Round 1, but misses out on INRC title
    • Aditya Thakur named provisional INRC champion

    Karna Kadur wins 2022 APRC Round 1

    The APRC returned to India after a four-year gap; the event also marked the grand return of the championship itself, which had been on hiatus for two years due to COVID-19. Four INRC driver pairs contested Round 1 – Three-time APRC champion Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif), Karna Kadur (co-driver Nikhil Pai) of Arka Motorsports, Amittrajit Ghosh (co-driver Ashwin Naik) and Younus Ilyas (co-driver Anirudha Ranganekar) of Race Concepts.

    On the back of his Karnataka-1000 Rally victory, Gill was also a favourite for the INRC title. However, in a flashback of what happened in the Rally of Coimbatore, his Mahindra XUV300 was struck down by a mechanical failure forcing him to retire early. This handed the lead to Kadur, who himself survived a puncture and damaged windscreen on his Volkswagen Polo.

    Kadur survived another scare on the final day when the door of his Polo’s luggage boot sprung open. But he came through relatively unscathed to claim his first-ever win in an international event. “This is my first win since 2018 and I am very happy to break a jinx. Also, this is my first win in Chennai and the APRC victory also, and I cannot ask for anything better. As always, there is last-minute drama today with lower-arm bush popping out, but we were lucky to finish. We have learnt a lot in the last two rallies,” he said.

    Gill returned the next day and ended up winning all the stages he participated in. With both Ghosh and Ilyas suffering mechanical failures themselves, Gill was placed second in the APRC standings. He also plans to compete in the upcoming Japan and Australia legs of the APRC.

    Aditya Thakur provisionally crowned INRC champion

    Kadur simultaneously won Round 3 of the INRC. However, since he was unable to finish the last two rounds, he wasn’t in contention for the overall title. A third place result and victory in the INRC3 class was enough to hand Aditya Thakur and co-driver Virender Kashyap the title. Thakur, a farmer from Himachal Pradesh, had earlier taken a surprise win in the opening round of the championship.

    However, the result is only provisional, as there is an appeal pending before the Indian Motor Sports Appeal Court. “Right now, I can’t express how happy I am today, it is a dream come true. I never expected to become a National champion in such a short time after making my INRC debut in 2018. There are so many emotions and thoughts going through my mind. A big thanks to my co-driver Virender who is always spot-on. I want to thank MRF Tyres and Volkswagen Motorsport for all the support,” Thakur said.

    As for the remaining classes in the South India Rally, Dean Mascarenhas (co-driver: Gagan Karumbaiah) won in INRC2, Mujeeb Rehman (co-driver: Ravindra Kumar) won in INRC-4, Pragati Gowda (co-driver: Trisha Alonkar) won in Junior INRC and Samrat Yadav (co-driver: M Chandrashekar) won in the FMSCI Gypsy Challenge.


    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.



    No comments yet. Be the first to comment.

    Ask Autocar Anything about Car and Bike Buying and Maintenance Advices
    Need an expert opinion on your car and bike related queries?
    Ask Now

    Search By Car Price

    Poll of the month

    Tata is considering separate showrooms for EVs, do you think all carmakers should do this?

    Yes, EV buyers have distinct needs



    Yes, it shows a strong commitment to EVs



    No, splitting showrooms creates inconvenience



    No, it will dilute the brand



    Total Votes : 908
    Sign up for our newsletter

    Get all the latest updates from the automobile universe