Gaurav Gill wins Round 3 as his competition hits trouble
Jaipur, Sep. 24:Two-time APRC champion Gaurav Gill asserted his supremacy in the MRF FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2017, comfortably winning four out of the six special stages to claim Round 3 here on a blistering Sunday.
Gill and his partner Musa Sherif began the march for Team Mahindra Adventure late on Saturday, conquering the championship’s first night stage with élan. They took barely 13:21.1 minutes to complete the 13.9 kilometre Night Hawk stage, zipping through the sharp turns and undulating curves in the dark with ease.
The pair, however, suffered issues in SS 2, the tricky Shiv Shakti 1, taking 6:49.1 long minutes to finish fifth in the stage, yielding the lead to defending National Champion Karna Kadur of Arka Motorsports (6:01.5) and his own teammate Amittrajit Ghosh (6:12.1) for the first time this year.
“I suffered in the second stage as I couldn’t avoid a rock and picked up a puncture,” Gill said, about his defeat.
“But I am glad I came through. This is one of the toughest rallies and the night stage has really got us all excited,” he added.
Karna and Amittrajit’s joy was, however, short-lived. Gill was back in his elements in SS 3, the Flying Machine stage, taking an astounding 12:09.5 minutes to crack the 13.8 kilometres to reclaim the rally lead.
Gill in his XUV was beyond everybody’s reach in the next two stages too, driving in his typically aggressive manner. He needed just 5:55.4 minutes to complete SS 4 and widen his lead. Karna and Amittrajit kept pace till that stage but then disaster struck both of them.
Karna’s car broke down in SS 5 and he tumbled out of contention. Amittrajit too faced a problem and managed to clock only 18:16.9 minutes, nearly five and half minutes behind Gill to slip to the sixth position. He made up time quite dramatically in the final stage but couldn’t do enough to get on to the podium.