Reigning INRC champion Amittrajit Ghosh (co-driver Ashwin Naik) leads the K-1000 rally at the end of day one with a lead of 1 minute, 29 seconds.
In terms of fastest times though, Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) leads overall, driving the rally-prepped XUV 500 for Team Mahindra, followed by Karamjit Singh (co-driver Jagdev Singh) in second driving the Polo R2 – a special machine prepared by Volkswagen India for the 2014 season.
However, both cars are not considered eligible for the official INRC classification (the XUV is fielded in the SUV class, while the Polo R2 is undergoing shakedown testing as it doesn’t adhere to the current regulations).
The 2013 Asia Pacific Rally Champion was the fastest driver of the day – taking all six stage wins and ending the day a massive 2 minutes, 19 seconds ahead of second-placed Karamjit.
In the INRC classification, Ghosh is followed by Prithvi Dominic (co-driver Pruthvi Ithal) in second and Rahul Kanthraj (co-driver Vivek Bhatt) trailing Dominic by eight seconds in third place – all three drivers piloting Group N-spec Mitsubishi Cedia cars.
Seven-time national rally champion N Leelakrishnan’s much-anticipated comeback was let down by a blown oil pump on his Mitsubishi Evo X – the same car driven by Samir Thapar in earlier rounds. Navigated by Naren Kumar’s long-time navigator D Ramkumar, Leela’s day lasted only two stages before succumbing to the technical gremlin but he is likely to restart under Super Rally format on Sunday morning.
INRC K1000 day one results (provisional)
1. Amittrajit Ghosh/Ashwin Naik Mitubishi Cedia 01:03:28.7
2. Prithvi Dominic/Pruthivi Ithal Mitubishi Cedia 01:04:57.5
3. Rahul Kantharaj/Vivek Y Bhatt Mitsubishi Cedia 01:05:04.6
1. Arjun Rao/Satish Rajagopal VW Polo 01:05:59.5
2. Sirish Chandran/Nikhil V Pai VW Polo 01:06:04.4
3. Byram Godrej/Prajwal Pai VW Polo 01:11:53.3
1. Karamjit Singh/Jagdev Singh VW Polo 01:01:45.5
2 Sumit Panjabi/Prakhyath Shirole Mitubishi Cedia 01:16:47.1
3 N Leelakrishnan/D Ramkumar* Mitubishi Evolution X 00:25:28.1
* Will restart under super rally on Sunday