Displaying controlled aggression Delhi’s Harkrishan Wadia, along with Himachal’s Kunal Kashyap, of Arka Motorsports bagged their maiden overall victory as they emerged triumphant in the Blueband Robusta Rally of Kodagu, the fifth Round of the Blueband Sports fmsci Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) for four-wheelers.
The penultimate round offered a tough terrain, like the last rally in Hyderabad, with only one INRC spec car finishing in the top-10. With top guns faltering once again, like in Hyderabad,
With the current season heading for a six-round championship, after a series low-round championships, the promoters Blueband Sports have also brought in such forgotten venues back into the main frame. Kodavas are one of the most sports-loving people in India. The rally was run within the Tata Coffee Plantations at different locations in South Coorg. The last rally, Rally de Coorg, was held in 2008.
“We are thrilled to rejuvenate the Rally scene in Coorg by bringing it back after a 15-year hiatus,” said Premnath K, the Promoter.
The competitive sections were run at the Tata Coffee Limited plantations. There were two physical stages, Anandapura (12.75km) and Pollibetta (8km), run thrice in the forward direction on Saturday. On Sunday, 8.5km Woshully and 8-km Margolly, near Ammathi was run in the forward direction thrice for a total competitive distance of 111.75km. Along with another 152km transport distance, the total rally distance was 263.7km. The rally had attracted 61 entries and the ceremonial flag off was held at the Ammathi High School.
Wadia and Kashyap, unfurled their magic in a lower spec INRC2 Volkswagen Polo 1.6 to win the Overall honours. They also won their class, INRC2. Wadia began his day two with a lead of over 31sec on Jahaan and 51sec lead on Vikram, there was no looking back for Wadia as he was the fastest in five of the total six stages, he was slower by about 6sec on stage10 and by the end of the day he extended his 51sec day one lead to 1min 28sec on the second finishers Aroor Vikram Rao and co-driver Somayya, who were third overnight and 20sec behind Jahaan, Vikram finished a creditable Overall second as he managed to cut down the deficit from the last five stages and managed to build a lead of 16sec over the third finishers young Jahaan Singh Gill along with co-driver Suraj Keshav Prasad. Jahaan did manage to extend his overnight lead by another 6sec, but there on he had to coup up with his car issues and then decided to finish on the podium, since the difference with the fourth starter Sahil Khanna was about 1min 15sec which was gradually cutting down, but still he had a considerable lead to complete on the podium. The pair of Sahil Khanna and Harish KN Gowda after starting fourth on day two, they did manage to hold on to the same position, but they lost about 20sec in the final stage and slided down to fifth. The pair of Jacob KJ and Shanmuga began their final day in fifth position with a difference of 7sec with Sahil ahead of them, while the lead graph was going up and down they managed to make about 23 sec in the final stage which put them one place up to finish fourth.
Younus Ilyas along with Nitin Jacob began with a 56sec difference over Sahil and were looking very aggressive in stage 9 and 12 they made the most but had to settle behind him in sixth after bringing down the difference to 8sec, they managed to climb four positions up as they were in 10th at the finish of day one. Sheshank Jamwal and Aseem Sharma finished seventh with a difference of 35sec, they managed to climb one position up than their previous day finish.
Daraious Shroff and Sahid Salman began their final day in sixth position with less than three seconds difference over Jacob, finally managed to finish in eighth position with a difference of 8sec. The pair of Vishakh B and Anil Abbas finished ninth with a difference of 51sec on Daraious, finished tenth was the pair of Ritesh Guttedar M and Rohit Nagaraj with 20sec further difference after finishing 7th on day one in the same second with the sixth standing Daraious.
Major dropouts were Karna Kadur, Dean Mascarenhas and Rahul Kanthraj.
“We are over the moon. This is our first overall victory and first INRC2 win. And our first stage wins, too. We are thankful to everyone who helped us in this journey. Especially, my father, who’s always been my No.1 supporter. Thanks to the whole team at Arka but for whom this sweet victory would not have been possible. They gave us the perfect car throughout the weekend. And Phil bhaiyya (Philippos Matthai) who’s helped improve my driving massively,” said a visibly delighed Wadia.
The pair of HarkrishanWadia and Knal Kashyap from Arka Motorsports were the winners of the class followed by Aroor Vikram Rao and AG Somayya from Chettinad Sporting supported by MRF finished second as Jacob KJ and Shanmuga SN from Arka Motorsports finished third. Sahil Khanna was slower by 15sec and missed the podium and settled for fourth, Ritesh Guttedar M with less than one second difference was fifth. Deepak M finished sixth and Ramcharan C finished seventh while Chetan Shivram was eighth. Three dropouts in the class were Philippos Matthai, Mazdayar Vatch the winner of Coorg talent hunt and Deepak Chandra.
Chandigarh’s Jahaan Gill along with Suraj Keshava Prasad won the INRC3 class with a total time of 1hr 46min 51sec, with a difference of 1min 34sec they finished ahead of the second position finishers Sheshank Jamwal and Aseen Sharma, Daraious Shroff along with Shahid Salman from Chettinad Sporting driving for Slideway Industries finished in third position with 7sec difference . Vishakh B and Anil Abbas from Chettinad Sporting with 51sec further difference finished fourth, Jeet Jhabakh and V Sekar a privateer finished in fifth position, Riyas Abdul Majeed and Lenin Joseph from Chettinad Sporting finished sixth with a further difference of 4min 11sec, the Dark Don pair of Anushriya from Himachal Pradesh and Sherwin Dalmeida finished seventh with a further difference of 35sec, the second lady team of Shivani Parmar and Arjun Dheerendra from Chettinad Sporting finished eighth, Prem Lal KV and Uday Kumar Balakrishna were ninth with further 35sec difference, Pragathi Gowda and Trisha Alonkar from Aart Motorsports supported by MRF finished tenth. Third lady driver and championship leader Nikeetaa Takkale and Raghuram Saminathan from Snap Racing had to pull out in the last stage of the day.
Abhin Rai and Arvind Dheerendra from Ammyfied Rallying were the winners with a lead of over 3min 47sec over the second finishers Vivek Ruthuparna and Athreya Kousgi from Snap Racing, Sefeekudheel and Arun V were third with 14min53sec difference. Prajwal HM and Vinay SM who were running third by the start of the day were DNF.
Jahaan Singh Gill along with Suraj Keshava Prasad from Snap Racing were the winners parallelly they also sealed the championship, Abhin Rai along with Arvind Dheerendra from Ammyfied Rallying finished second with a difference of 5min 36sec, with a further difference of 3min 47sec the pair of Vivek Ruthuparna and Athreya Kousgi from Snap Racing finished third.
Anushriya Gulati and Sherwin Dalmeida from Dark Don Rallying were the winners with a difference of 1min over Shivani Parmar and Arjun Dheerendra from Chettinad Sporting as Pragathi Gowda and Trisha Alonkar from Aart Motorsports supported by MRF completed the podium with a further difference of 3min 44sec, the championship leader Nikeetaa Takkale and Raghuram Saminathan from Snap Racing who were leading the rally had to pull out in the final stage.
Privateers Mitchu Ganapathy of Gonikoppa and co-driver Venu Ramesh Kumar of Coimbatore with a total time of 2hr 3min and 30sec were the winners of the class, Abishek Gowda and Dheeraj Manae with 39sec difference finished second, Jayanth Somanathan and R Rajashekar with further 3sec difference stood third. Localites Darshan Nachappa and Abhinav Ganapathy from Ammyfied Rallying with 1min 50sec further difference were fourth as Sanjay Agarwal and Phalguna Raghavendra with 3min30sec difference finished fifth.