37th South India Rally,
Round Two of the Indian National Rally Championship
Chennai, 25 – 26 June – 2011
The second round of the Indian National Rally Championship was held in and around Chennai between June 25 – 26 , 2011.
The 37th South Indian Rally made a comeback after more than a decade, 11 years to be precise, and tested the men and their magnificent machines to the fullest.
Spread over two days, the heat, humidity and the dust of Chennai took its toll on the driver’s and their cars and the end of Day – 1 saw many a revered name in the rally circuit biting the dust.
The rally was given a very spectator friendly Super Special Stage, with the SSS route being chalked out within the surrounding areas of the MMRT race track. Fast gravel and dirt tracks interspersed with tarmac sections made sure that the car control skills of all the participants were tested to its peak.
The trick at the South Indian Rally was - perhaps not to drive the fastest – but to nurse the car to the finish line!!
End of Day – 1, saw Team MRF driver / navigator duo of Gaurav Gill and Musa Sherif retiring from the Group N+ 2000cc class with electrical failure.
Teammate Arjun Balu / Sujith Kumar succumbed to a similar fate on the first day itself. SS – 2 witnessed a severe crash as privateer Arjun Rao Aroor crashed his Lancer Cedia, (thankfully both driver and navigator were unhurt), leading to the cancellation of SS – 2 and all competitors being awarded scratch timings for that section. Yet again, misfortune struck Team MRF, when driver Lohitt Urs – who was running second after Day – 1, was excluded by the stewards for “nudging” teammate Gill’s car towards the finish, when Gill’s car had packed up during transport.
Amittrajit Ghosh / Ashwin Naik of Team MRF literally took the team’s hopes and dreams to the podium. Amittrajit drove flawlessly, nursed his car through the gruelling stages to clinch not only the 2000 cc Group N+ crown but also emerge as the overall winner. At one point in the rally, Amittrajit ‘s Lancer Cedia lost all the ratio’s in the gearbox – except fifth and he had to finish the SS driving only in one gear – in 5 th only – unable to change up or down !
However the rising star of the pack were the privateer duo of Karna Kadur / Ms Somonnita Ghosh. Starting off as underdogs, Kadur / Somonnita put in a scintillating performance that saw them emerging at the top of the heap in the Group N 2000cc class and earn a well deserved second position overall. In fact it was not easy at all for these youngsters, because Kadur / Somonnita had to fend off some feisty competition from the hard charging Cedia of Rahul Kanthraj / Vivek Bhatt. Kadur/Somonnita not only closed the gap but actually posted times that were faster.
Watch these young birdies, I say, they have tremendous potential and a lot more bhp under their belt in the coming years!
The Gypsy stock category was won by veterans Sanjay Agarwal / E Shivaprakash. The 1600cc class saw Vignesh Devarajan / Anup Kumar taking the honours. The 1400 cc Rally Star Cup was taken by Hrishikesh Thackersay and Kaushik Shinde.
Group Overall Rank Driver / Co – Driver Time Car
N+ 2000cc 1 Amittrajit Ghosh / Ashwin Naik 2h:05m:59sec Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia
N 2000cc 2 Karna Kadur / Ms. Somonnita Ghosh 2h:08m:44sec Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia
N 2000cc 3 Rahul Kanthraj / Vivek Bhatt 2h:09m:34sec Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia
Group Rank Driver / Co – Driver Time Car
N 2000cc 1 Karna Kadur / Ms. Somonnita Ghosh 2h:08m:44sec Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia
N 2000cc 2 Rahul Kanthraj / Vivek Bhatt 2h:09m:34.0sec Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia
N 2000cc 3 Vikram Devadasan / A.G. Somayya 2h:09m:53sec Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia
The following 2 BHPians Thank arjab for this useful post: