Consistency ensure brothers conquer Indian Championship
Brothers Chetan Shivram and Dilip Sharan conquered the Indian National Rally Championship in 2019, thanks to their stunning victories throughout the season.
The experienced duo from Bengaluru had a strong season with two victories, including taking out their home event in round four.
The MRF supported duo of Team Akshara, who had suffered a massive crash in the opening stage on Saturday, returned to complete the second day’s three stages to protect their championship lead.
They garnered enough points in the two previous rallies by nurturing their car and negotiating the dangerous terrain when most of their main rivals failed to finish.
Both these rounds saw most of the experienced and talented drivers bite the dust one after the other.
But Chetan, with Dilip calling the notes, carefully and skilfully negotiated to take the win under these tricky circumstances.
Chetan’s rivals, Fabid Ahmer and Dean Mascarenhas, who had a chance to topple Chetan could not do much on Sunday. While Dean along with co-driver Shruptha Padival finished overall second in the Popular Rally.
Fabid, along with navigator Sanath Gopalanhad, missed the INRC3 title by a whisker as a late penalty at the last time control cost them the title by a point.
However, the youngster from Palakkad had the consolation of winning the Junior INRC title for 2019.
Meanwhile, speed maestro Gaurav Gill and co-driver Musa Sherif, retained the Popular Rally title as the final round of the Indian National Rally Championship (INRC).
Gill’s win was his fifth Popular Rally win.
The Team Mahindra Adventure driver, supported by JK Tyre, won SS9 and finished second in SS10 and SS11 on Day 2 to regain his aura over the weekend.
Gill’s teammates, Dean Mascarenhas and Suhem Kabeer also did well, taking the third and fourth positions in Popular Rally’s overall category.
Chetan, along with Dilip, nursed his car smartly, taking the tenth position in SS9 but revved up to the fifth in the last two stages for a valiant show. Chetan and Dilip also won the INRC3 title for a double dhamaka as Fabid and Sanath, earned a late penalty.
In INRC3, Fabid who finished second behind Aditya Thakur, had been demoted and Jacob KJ and PVS Murthy came second. Kuber Sharma and Karan Aukta finished third.
Team Champions’ Dr Bikku Babu (Milen George), a local favourite, finished third in the overall category and first in his own INRC 2 for a highly-rewarding Popular Rally.
Tied with JK Tyre’s Dean Mascarenhas (Shruptha Padival) on 72 points at the start of the round, his win surely fetched him the National title in INRC 2 class.
The INRC 4 category was won by Suraj Thomas and co-driver Sob George while Vaibhav Marathe (Arjun SSB) and Rakshith Iyer/Chandrashekhar finished second and third respectively.
Provisional Results (Round 5): INRC Overall:
1. Gaurav Gill/ Musa Sherif – 1hour, 25min, 01.7sec;
2. Dr Bikku Babu/ Milen George – 1:29:16.300;
3. Dean Mascarenhas/ Shrupta Padival – 1:31:02.600.
1. Dr Bikku Babu/ Milen George – 1:29:16.300;
2. Dean Mascarenhas/ Shrupta Padivel – 1:31:02.600;
3. Suhem Kabeer/ Jeeva Rathinam – 1:31:22.000.
1. Aditya Thakur/ Virender Kashyap – 1:34:11.300;
2. Jacob K.J/ PVS Murthy – 1:34:46.300;
3. Kuber Sharma / Karan Aukta xx:xx.
1. Suraj Thomas/ Sob George – 1:35:02.500;
2. Vaibhav Marathe/ Arjun SSB – 1:37:55.000;
3. Rakshith Iyer/ Chandrashekhar – 1:38:51.400.
1. Nikhil J / Arjun Dheerendra 1:41:10.200;
2. Abishek Gowda/ Dheeraj Manae 1:42:58.100;
3. Gagan Karumbaiah/ Thimmu Uddapanda 1:44:10.100.
1. Fabid Ahmer / Sanath Gopalan;
2. Rakshith Iyer/ Chandrashekar;
3. Chandan KM/ Suraj M.