Three rally leaders Gaurav, Karna and Amittrajit fall behind, for the second time in a row.
It was a hatrick for the MRF supported pair from Mandovi Racing Arjun Rao Aroor and Satish Rajagopal, they managed to win the Rally of Coimbatore, Round 3 of the Blueband FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2023 held at Coimbatore.
The two day rally was held at SM Agro on day one and day two stages were around Kethanur. Total of 10 stages decided this win, Arjun Rao won with a margin of 31sec over the pair of Philippos Matthai and PVS Murthy from Arka Motorsports supported by MRF and VM Sports Foundation, while Amittrajit Ghosh along with Ashwin Naik from Arka Motorsports completed the podium. This high speed rally had 2 DNQ, 19 DNF's on Day one from six stages and total of 29 DNF's up to Day two from four stages.
Disaster struck in the third stage of day one for Gaurav Gill along with Anirudfha Rangnekar supported by JK Tyre who were leading by over 15sec, as the car knocked against a cut stem and had to pull out. There on MRF supported pair of Karna Kadur and Nikhil Pai from Arka Motorsports led the charge but in stage 6 due to technical issues they had to give up. By then the pair of Amittarajit Ghosh and Ashwin Naik had gained command of the day with over 19sec advantage over Arjun Rao and Satish Rajagopal. Philippos Matthai along with PVS Murthy with a further difference of 8sec was in third position. Rahul Kanthraj and Vivek Y Bhatt from Arka Motorsports were slower by 27sec, JK Tyre supported pair of Jahaan Gill and Suraj Keshava Prasad from Snap Racing were further 5sec slower and Dr. Bikku Babu navigated by Milen George supported by MRF were further slower by 9sec.
It was a day of twist and turns with 29 drop outs and 6 not taking a start. 13 day one dropout drivers took start on day two and the first to pull out was Gaurav Gill due to drive shaft issues. Never fell back with load of issues was Amittrajit, had to drive both the stages in first run with Nil brakes and the exhaust bolts had given up. Thus capitalised on this situation was Arjun Rao and Philippos and they rose up the order and Arjun headed for a hattrick with 31sec lead. In the allotted service time it was not possible to complete the rectification and hence regaining the lost position became impossible for Amittrajit and thus had to settle for third, with a difference of 11sec on Philippos. Finally after six years of failed efforts, 4 years on VW Polo R2 and two years on Maruti Baleno Arjun emerges with a Hattrick and heading for his first overall INRC National title. Fabid Ahmer and Sanath G supported by JK Tyre driving for Chettinad Sporting started from seventh position on the final day and missed the podium with a six seconds deficit. Dr. Bikku Babu managed to climb one position up on the final day and finish fifth with a further difference of 22sec. JK Tyre supported pair from Snap Racing Jahaan Gill and Suraj K Prasad slided one position down in the final results than day one with a difference of 37sec by finishing sixth. Bengaluru pair of Rahul Kanthraj and Vivek Y Bhatt from Arka Motorsports couldn't hold on to the fourth position on day one and finished in seventh position with a further difference of one second. Jason Saldanha and Thimmu Udapanda from Dark Don Racing finished in eighth position.
INRC2: Philippos Matthai from Delhi and PVS Murthy from Bengaluru driving for Arka Motorsports supported by MRF and VM Sports Foundation were the winners, they managed it with a difference of 17sec over the second finishers Fabid Ahmer and Sanath G from Kerala supported by JK Tyre driving from Chettinad Sporting. The Kerala duo Dr. Bikku Babu and Milen George supported by MRF completed the podium with a difference of 22sec. Aroor Vikram Rao and Somayya AG supported by MRF with further 53 seconds difference missed the podium, Jacob KJ and Shanmuga SN driving from Arka Motorsports with 18sec difference finished in fifth position, Ritesh Guttedar and Lokaranjan HJ representing Ammyfied Rallying finished in sixth position with a difference of 1min 32sec, Charen Chandran and Vignesh Mahalingam from Arka Motorsports finished in seventh position while Harkrishan Wadia and Kunal Kashyap driving for Arka Motorsports were facing technical issues and finished in eighth position.
INRC3: Jahaan Gill along with Suraj Keshava Prasad supported by JK Tyre driving for snap Racing were the winners with a total time of 01hr 55min 37sec and managed to keep the pair of Jason Saldanha and Thimmu Uddapanda from Dark Don Rallying behind in second position with a difference of 7sec, Daraius Shroff and Shahid Salman from Slideways Industries driving for Chettinad Sporting with one second difference settled for third. Vishakh B and Sumesh from Chettinad Sporting missed the podium with 30sec difference, the pair of Riyas Abdul Majeed and Lenin Joseph also from Chettinad Sporting were fifth with a difference of 1min 21sec, Privateers Ajay Sankar and Nitharshan finished sixth with a further difference of 25sec, Anushriya Gulati and Sherwin Dalmeida from Dark Don Rallying with a fractional difference of .400th of a second was seventh while Pradeep Ravi and Avinash CA driving from Arka Motorsports were in eighth with 31sec difference. Nikeetaa Takkale and Venu Ramesh Kumar from Snap Racing finished ninth as Yashas M Nayak finished tenth.
INRC4: Ruthuparna Vivek along with Athreya Kousgi from Ammyfied Rallying supported by VM Sports Foundation was the winner, they managed to hold their leadership ground right from day one, as the championship leader was reeling under technical difficulties, while his teammate Shirole Prakhyat H and Bharath SM both from Bengaluru with 4min 52sec difference finished second, Privateers who have come back to rallying after a long gap driving a Maruti Esteem the pair of Prajwal HM and Vinay SM managed to finish on podium with third position with 4min 38sec. Maninder Singh Bobral and Sirisha Venkatram from Ammyfied Rallying supported by VM Sports Foundation with 2min 37sec difference finished fourth, Manoj Mohanan along with Senthil Kumar Kannan finished fifth and Abhin Rai and D Uday Kumar also from Ammyfied Rallying supported by VM Sports Foundation finished sixth.
JINRC: Jahaan Gill along with Suraj K supported by JK Tyre from Snap Racing finished on top followed by privateer Ajay Sankar and Nitharshan with 3min 44sec difference finished second, Lady competitor Nikeetaa Takkale along with Venu Ramesh Kumar supported by VM Sports Foundation from Snap Racing with 2min 36sec difference finished third.
Ladies class: Anushriya Gulati along with Sherwin Dalmeida from Dark Don Rallying was the winner of the class with a total time of 1hr 59min 22sec, Pune driver Nikeetaa Takkale along with Venu Ramesh Kumar from Coimbatore driving for Snap Racing supported by VM Sports Foundation finished second with 2min 56sec difference, Shivani Parmar from Mumbai and Bengaluru's Arjun Dheerendra from Slideways driving for Chettinad Sporting managed to finish third with 20min 28sec difference, they lost lot of time on day two as their car was stuck in a mud mount at one of the left corner. The pair of Pragathi Gowda and Trisha Alonkar supported by MRF and Sidvin driving from AART Motorsports were on the neck of the winner but exceeded MPL. ( Maximum permissible lateness ).
Gypsy class: The Coorg pair of Darshan Nachappa and Abhinav Ganapathy from Ammyfied Rallying supported by VM Sports Foundation were the winners of the class with a total time of 2hr 6min 10sec, they were running second till the 9th stage, as disaster stuck to their teammate, the championship leader Samrat Yadav navigated by Chandrasekhar were leading till the 9th stage had to pull out as the front wheel ripped out on stage. Privateer Abishek Gowda and Dheeraj Manae finished second with a difference of 1min 18sec, Jayanth Somanathan and R Rajashekar finished third with a further difference of 4min 46sec. The pair of Sanjay Lal and V Sekar finished fourth with 1min 6sec difference, Vamcy Merla founder of VM Sports Foundation in his debut rally was navigated by Raghuram Saminathan finished fifth as they had the bonnet popping up and covering the windscreen and had to be put back couple of times on stage. Dr. Akarsh Sundar and Ravi Kumar Reddy finished sixth and Madhusudhan along with Harsha finished seventh. This class witnessed eight DNF's.