Overnight leaders Gaurav Gill and Musa Sherif, in a Mahindra XUV 500 won the Rally of Coimbatore, the second round of the FMSCI-Indian Rally Championship (IRC) by over two minutes.
Arjun Rao and Satish Rajagopal, in a Volkswagen Polo, took second place overall and the top spot in the IRC 1600 category, while Gill’s Mahindra Adventure teammates Sunny Sidhu and PV Srinivas Murthy were third.
A run over the two Special Stages of 26.10 kms and 12.65 kms comprised Sunday’s Leg 2 and Gill, winner of the opening round in Nashik last month, chose to drive cautiously.
“I didn’t want to take any risks as I already had a good lead overnight,” Gill said. “I wanted to hold on to the lead and it just so happened that I was fastest in both the stages today,” added India’s top rally driver.
While the top three overnight leaders finished in that order, Team Yokohama’s Vikram Devadasen and Shrikanth in a Volkswagen Polo turned in faster times in both Super Stages to finish fourth overall ahead of their Team Yokohama mates Rahul Kantharaj and Vivek Bhatt in a Mitsubishi Cedia.
Kantharaj and Bhatt topped the IRC 2000cc class, while Devadasen and Shrikanth finished second in the IRC 1600cc category.
Arjun Rao and Sathish were returning to action after missing the opening round in Nashik and the pair, winners of the INRC 1600 class last season and second in the overall category, turned in another impressive show.
“The gap between Gill and us was big, but that didn’t change my approach. I was aggressive and I am happy to have finished second overall with a 1600 cc car,” he said.
B Raghu Nandan and K Suraj topped the FMSCI 1600cc Cup category.
On Saturday, 10 cars retired during Leg 1, including reigning National champion Amittrajit Ghosh and Ashwin Naik following mechanical problems.
The third round of the FMSCI Indian Rally Championship will be the AVT Premium South India Rally in Chennai between July 25 and 27.
Unofficial final classification:
Indian Rally Championship (IRC):
1. Gaurav Gill/Musa Sherif (Mahindra Adventure) (01:39.53.2)
2. Arjun Rao/Satish Rajagopal (01:41.56.9)
3. Sunny Sidhu/PV Srinivas Murthy (Mahindra Adventure) (01:42.45.8)
1. Rahul Kantharaj/Vivek Bhatt (Team Yokohama) (01:44.21.6)
2. Byram Godrej/AG Somayya (01:44.36.0)
3. Prithivi Dominic/MS Ravindra (01:45.57.7)
1. Arjun Rao/Satish Rajagopal (01:41.56.9)
2. Vikram Devadasen/Shrikanth (Team Yokohama) (01:44.05.4)
3. Phalguna Urs/Anoop Kumar (01:44.33.7)
FMSCI 1600cc Cup:
1. B Raghu Nandan/K Suraj (01:46.31.3)
2. KC Adith/KN Harish (01:48.27.1)
3. Aniruddha Rangnekar/Nitin Jacob (01:52.24.7)