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Karna Kadur wins South India Rally

The Bengaluru duo of Karna Kadur and co-driver Nikhil Pai held their nerve to win the 44th South India Rally

Karna Kadur wins South India Rally


Updated: 30 March 2022 2:25 PM GMT

The Bengaluru duo of Karna Kadur and co-driver Nikhil Pai (Arka Motorsports) held their nerve to win the 44th South India Rally, a round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (Asia Cup) and the concluding round of the FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2021 on Sunday.

While Kadur and Pai celebrated the Asia Cup (India leg) victory on their APRC debut, Himachal's Aditya Thakur and co-driver Virender Kashyap (Chettinad Sporting) clinched their maiden National championship title (Overall), though provisionally, and subject to the outcome of an appeal pending before the Indian Motor Sports Appeal Court, according to a press release here. Kadur survived another scare today when the door of the luggage boot sprung open in the day's second Stage, but he came through relatively unscathed for his maiden success in an international event.

Two other Asia Cup contenders, Amittrajit Ghosh (Ashwin Naik) and Younus Ilyas (Sanath G) had to quit due to mechanical failures, when running second and third, respectively. Meanwhile, three-time APRC champion Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif), who had retired on Saturday with a mechanical failure but restarted today, eventually finished second behind Kadur. Kadur also topped the South India Rally, organised by the Madras Motor Sports Club, to claim the overall honours ahead of Dean Mascarenhas (Gagan Karumbaiah) and Thakur. The third place finish was sufficient for Thakur to emerge National champion.

On his victory, Kadur said: "This is my first win since 2018 and I am very happy to break a jinx. Also, this is my first win in Chennai and the APRC victory also, and I cannot ask for anything better. As always, there is last-minute drama today with lower-arm bush popping out, but we were lucky to finish. We have learnt a lot in the last two rallies (both DNFs). On the other hand, Gill was disappointed with the result. "It was the same in Coimbatore where we had a DNF (Did Not Finish) and in K-1000 that we won. Here too we were the quickest, but a mechanical issue cut short our rally yesterday. However, on restart, we had a good run today. Overall, I am quite happy with our performance," said Gill, who plans to compete in APRC's Japan and Australia legs this season.

Final classification (Provisional): FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (Asia Cup, India round): 1. Karna Kadur / Nikhil Pai (India) (01hr,50mins, 04.500secs); 2. Gaurav Gill / Musa Sherif (India) (02:07:17.000)

The FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship: Overall / INRC: 1. Karna Kadur / Nikhil Pai (both Bengaluru, Arka Motorsports) (01:50:04.500); 2. Dean Mascarenhas (Mangaluru) / Gagan Karumbaiah (Kodagu) (01:51:08.900); 3. Aditya Thakur / Virender Kashyap (both Himachal, Chettinad Sporting) (01:52:16.100).

National Overall champion (Provisional, subject to outcome of an appeal pending before the Indian Motor Sports Appeal Court): Aditya Thakur (Himachal, Chettinad Sporting).

INRC-2: 1. Dean Mascarenhas (Mangaluru) / Gagan Karumbaiah (Kodagu) (01:51:08.900); 2. Fabid Ahmer / Sanath G (both Palakkad) (01:52.17.300); 3. Rahul Kanthraj / Vivek Bhatt (both Bengaluru) (01:56:11.400).

INRC-3: Aditya Thakur / Virender Kashyap (both Himachal) (01:52:16.100); 2. Syed Salman Ahmed (Mysuru) / BK Rishabh (Mangaluru) (01:54:53.100); 3. Kuber Sharma / Kunal Kashyap (both Himachal) (01:55:32.900).

INRC-4: Mujeeb Rehman (Kasargod) / Ravindra Kumar (Bengaluru) (01:59:08.600); 2. Prakhyat Shirole / Arjun SSB (both Bengaluru) (02:01:05.900); Deepak Chandra / Raghuram CG (both Bengaluru) (02:12:37.100).

Junior INRC: 1. Pragati Gowda / Trisha Alonkar (both Bengaluru, Arka Motorsports) (01:57:42.300); 2. Raghuram Saminathan (Coimbatore) / Bharath Sargur (Bengaluru, Kari Sports) (01:59:54.000); 3. Jahaan Singh Gill (Chandigarh) / Sheeraz Ahmed (Chikkamagaluru, SNAP Racing) (02:32:13.400).

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