This current 2023 season proved that more number of rounds will keep the championship open till the last mile. Blue Band putting up six championship rounds this season, brought back life into the sport. The 47th K1000 rally to be held near Nittur, Tumkur shall be the final and deciding round. The iconic Blueband K1000 Rally, the sixth and final round of the Blueband Sports fmsci Indian National Rally Championship 2023 for four-wheelers which was flagged off at Gubbi, about 40km by the Tumakuru district SP Ashok KV, IPS, at an impressive Ceremonial Start on Thursday evening.
Two championships the Overall INRC and JINRC are already sealed in the Robusta Rally held in Coorg.
INRC2:It will be a clash between the two team mates from Arka Motorsports both with a overall win Harkrishan Wadia with 96 points had won the Robusta Rally which put him on the top from seventh position and KJ Jacob with 93 points had won the Rally of Hyderabad, while Chetan Shivram from Ammyfied Rallying with 90 points is also in the fray, all considering N-1.
In the co-drivers championship Shanmuga SN with 102 points is leading as E Shivaprakash with 99 points is very close to him and AG Somayya with 82 points is in third sport.
In the team championship Arka motorsports is leading with 224 points and Chettinad Sporting with 160points is in second position.
Jahaan Singh Gill from Snap Racing is a front runner in the drivers championship with 124 points ,Daraius Shroff from Chettinad Racing with 115 points following him is his teammate Vishakh B with 107 points, Sheshank Jamwal from Arka Motorsports was with100 points.
In the co-drivers championship Suraj Keshava Prasad leads with 122 points, Shahid Salman is in second with 115 points, Aseem Sharma with 101 points and Anil Abbas stands fourth with 100 points.
Chettinad Sporting with 219points are leading the Team Championship table, Arka Motorsports with 129 are in third and Snap Racing with 136 points are in second.
Abhin Rai from Ammyfied Rallying with 152 points is leading the drivers championship he regained 8 points from the Robusta Rally of Coorg after a DNF at Hyderabad and Ruthuparna Vivek a Privateer with 144 points is very close to him.
In the co-drivers Pramod Raman with 85 has sealed the championship
Anushriya Gulati from Dark don Rallying is heading the drivers championship with 121 points, Shivani Parmar a privateer with similar points of 121 is behind her, Nikeeta Takkale from Snap Racing was holding the top slot till the Robusta Rally of Coorg, she had to pull out in the final stage of the rally which slided her down to third with 115 points, Pragathi Gowda from Aart Motorsport with 11 points is running fourth.
Trisha Alonkar is lone registered navigator with 120 points she wins the co-driver championship
In the Gypsy Cup:
Baljinder Singh Dhillion a privateer with 110 points is the leader, Darshan Nachappa Kokkengada from Ammyfied Rallying with 106 points is running second, Abhishek Gowda is with 99 points, and Dr. Akash S without a single podium is with 96 points.
In the co-drivers championship Goutham CP with 118 points iw the leader, Abhinav Ganapathy with 107 points, Dheeraj Manae with 100 points are in fray.
Ammyfied Rallying with 237 points are the leaders in the Team Championship.
Aroor Arjun Rao of Mandovi Racing, who clinched his maiden Overall INRC Championship title with a round to spare, is looking to finish on a winning note along with co-driver Satish Rajagopal at the iconic Blueband K1000 Rally, the sixth and final round of the Blueband Sports fmsci Indian National Rally Championship 2023 for four-wheelers which was flagged off at Gubbi, about 40km here, at an impressive Ceremonial Start on Thursday evening.
K1000 Rally, organised by Karnataka Motor Sports Club (KMSC), is the longest running active rally in the country and offers an aura around it. This edition attracted 59 entries including some top guns like Gaurav Gill, Amittrajit Ghosh, Karna Kadur, Aditya Thakur and Dean Mascarenhas. “After a long time, we have brought six rounds to the INRC and have also revived the popular venues like Hyderabad and Kodagu. As the season ends, we endeavour to bring more highlights to the ever popular rallying season next year,” said Premnath K, Chief Promoter, Blueband Sports.
“For over four decades, K1000 is a popular destination for the rally drivers and this year too, the cream of talent from all over the country is present. All safety aspects are taken care and we wish the best for all drivers,” said Gautham Shanthappa, President, KMSC.
Mangalore’s Arjun Rao, ably assisted by Bengaluru’s Satish, look to K1000 more as a home rally and, despite the previous two rounds yielding zero points at Hyderabad and Coorg, the championship leaders are in a jubilant mood to finish the season on a winning hurrah. “It is a great season and we began with a bang winning the first three rounds that effectively sealed the championship as the big guns failed to provide a challenge and all tumbled, in the next last two rounds, despite our own troubles. The terrain is fast and tricky as ever, and we expect to take it on an aggressive note to clinch a decisive victory as we already have the title in our bag,” said a hopeful Rao. “Finishing the rally is important and we are all geared up,” echoed Satish, the experienced co-driver.
There will be seven cars in the top INRC class while INRC2 boasts of 13 entries and INRC3 has 20 cars, the highest among all the five classes. INRC4 will see eight cars in the race while the non-championship, but popular Gypsy class, will run 14 machines vying for honours.
Jahaan Singh Gill, who recently won the APRC Junior title in Indonesia, is second in the Overall standings behind Arjun Rao and is followed by KJ Jacob and Sheshank Jamwal in third and fourth places in the top category.
In INRC2, Harkrishan Wadia, who won his maiden Overall crown at the Robusta Rally of Kodagu, is leading the table followed by KJ Jacob and 2019 champion Chetan Shivram. Jahaan is also leading the INRC3 class ahead of Vishakh Balachandran and Daraious Shroff. Abhin Rai, Ruthuparna Vivek and Jagbir Singh Nirwan are the table toppers in INRC4, in that order. Dr Akarsh S is on the top of the Gypsy class. Jahaan is also leading the Junior INRC class while Anushriya Gulati is heading he Ladies class standings till now. All the four lady drivers, Gulati, Shivani Parmar, Nikeetaa Takkale and Pragathi Gowda are within 14 points and have a chance to go at the Ladies title.
The terrain is as challenging as the Hyderabad and Coorg surfaces. But it is expected to be much better than last year and the stages are reduced from the original nine to six. There will be two physical Special Stages (SS), Thirtharama which is 20.78km long, and Hatyalu is 15.74km. The 9.67km Kondli stage is not being run due to technical reasons and the length of the other two stages were increased. On Friday, both the stages will be run twice in the same direction and on Saturday, the Leg 2 will have the competitors take each of the stage once for a total Special Stage distance of 109.56km. Along with a transport (liaison) distance of 184.56km, the rally will have about 290km to cover and the 47th edition that started in 1975 promises to be a humdinger.