Team Mahindra Adventure started the MRF FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2016 on a high note, clinching the first and second spot in the Rally of Coimbatore. The first round of the 2016 season was held at Kethanur Windmill Farms, near Palladam, on Sunday.
Amittrajit Ghosh and co-driver Ashwin Naik secured the first spot after clocking 1 hour, 3 minutes, 15.1 seconds, followed by team mate Sunny Sidhu and co-driver PVS Murthy who recorded a time of 1 hour, 3 minutes, 59.3 secs. Both of them drove the super XUV prepared by Mahindra Adventure. Young Dean Mascarenhas from Mangaluru and co-driver Shanmugha SN secured the third spot in the INRC Overall class, driving his Volkswagen Polo.
Mascarenhas also came on top in the INRC 2000 class ahead of Bopaiah KM / Karumbaiah G and Karna Kadur / Nikhil Pai of Team Yokohama.
In the Indian Rally Championship (IRC) class, Samir Thapar with co-driver Gurinder Singh Mann of JCT Rallying came on top. They were also the fastest overall in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. Abhilash PG with co-driver Srikanth Gowda was second in the class in the Evo VIII, followed by Mohammed Khasim with co-driver Sanath G in Mitsubishi Cedia.
"We had a few problems with our car throughout the day, but happy that we managed to bring the car back safely. In the third and last loop, I had gearbox problem and ran both the Stages in third gear, not wanting to take any chances," Amittrajit Ghosh said after teh rally, reported IANS.
Fan-favourite Gaurav Gill and co-driver Musa Sherif of Mahindra Adventure were stuck with bad luck as their Super XUV faced mechanical issues in the very first Special Stage, forcing them to retire. Gill was permitted to rejoin the Rally later, but could not score any points.
The next round of the rally will be held at Nashik, Maharashtra on Aug. 27 and 28.