Gaurav Gill triumphs in Asia Rally Cup round in Chennai

Gaurav Gill triumphs in Asia Rally Cup round in Chennai

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Gaurav Gill won the second round of the FIA-Asia Pacific Rally Championship (Asia Rally Cup), while two stages of the 46th South India Rally were abandoned because the race circuit was impassable due to overnight rainfall.

Thailand's Mana Pornsiricherd and co-driver Thanyapat Meenil placed second behind Delhi-based Gill, who was joined by Aniruddha Rangnekar in a Subaru Impreza for the first time in his career. Karna Kadur and Nikil Pai withdrew after their car stalled in the day's final stage, which was subsequently cancelled. Amittrajit Ghosh and Ashwin Naik moved up to third.

For the first time in seven years, Aroor Arjun Rao of Mangaluru and co-driver Satish Rajagopal took home the Blueband Sports FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship.

The INRC-2 division was won by Sahil Khanna and Harish KN Gowda, while the INRC-3 category was won by Daraius Shroff and Shahid Salman, giving them their first victory together.

The two loops of the MIC Track Stage, one of the two physical stages that were scheduled to be run twice each in opposite direction today, were postponed. The Aavisa stage stood up well to the persistent rain and stayed dry, thus the final day's programme was condensed to two runs.

Gill expressed relief after his performance, stating, "I am very relieved as it was mentally a very taxing weekend. There were niggles with my car that went on forever, and I am happy to bring it back home safely. There were also extreme changes in conditions. One stage (MIC Track) was bone dry and the other (Aavisa) slushy yesterday, and today, it was the other way around when portions of the Track stage were under water. I had a tough time negotiating it, and no surprises that the Stage was later cancelled as there was no way the two-wheel drive cars behind us could have made it."

FIA-APRC (Asia Rally Cup) provisional rankings: 1. Gaurav Gill and Aniruddha Rangnekar (01 minutes, 50 seconds), 2. Mana Pornsiricherd and Thanyaphat Meenil (01 minutes, 51 seconds), and 3. Amittrajit Ghosh and Ashwin Naik (01 hr, 58 mins, 44.0 secs).

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