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Maiden overall win for Aditya Thakur at INRC

Aditya Thakur along with his co-driver Virender Kashyap, scripted a dream-win in the Rally of Coimbatore

Aditya Thakur Virender Kashyap INRC

Aditya Thakur with co-driver Virender Kashyap



Updated: 27 Feb 2022 4:09 PM GMT

Aditya Thakur, a farmer hailing from Himachal Pradesh, along with his co-driver Virender Kashyap, scripted a dream-win in the Rally of Coimbatore, the first round of the FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2021 of which MRF Tyres is the Associate Sponsor on Sunday.

It was a day of dramatic twists and turns as the tricky Special Stages took a heavy toll of the top contenders in the Coimbatore Auto Sports Club-organised season-opener. Favourite and 7-times National champion Gaurav Gill (Musa Sherif), overnight leader Karna Kadur (Nikhil Pail), Amittrajit Ghosh (Ashwin Naik) who led briefly today after moving up from overnight fourth, and Dean Mascarenhas (Gagan Karumbaiah), who was placed third overall going into Leg-2 today, dropped out due to various issues with their vehicles, thus opening up the path for 32-year old Thakur's maiden win.

Thakur, taking part in the INRC-3 category but eligible for Overall classification, thus notched his maiden Overall win in a National Championship since his INRC debut in 2018, also at Coimbatore. "I am absolutely delighted over my maiden win in the National championship. We made a small mistake yesterday which put us in second position overnight. Today, I decided to just go for it and did not back off though I was a bit careful. "The MRF tyres were simply fantastic in terms of the grip and durability. Also, Chettinad Sporting built this car like a tank. So, I was able to push. A big thanks also to Sanjay Sikand (ex-Rally driver) whose birthday it is today, for nurturing my skills from when I was eight years old. My family and friends who pooled in some money to help me take part in the championship, were of a great support," an emotional Thakur said.

Meanwhile, Gill, who had retired yesterday with an electrical problem, but rejoined today under the Super Rally format, was the quickest for much of the day until his second retirement while Palakkad's Fabid Ahmer (G Sanath) was among the most impressive performers on the day by clocking some fast times which took him up the leader board and finish Overall second, and first in INRC-2 category. A very dejected Kadur said: "We had to pack up due to some electrical issues which we are trying to understand and sort out. We started having issues like drop in power towards the end of today's first Stage. Then, two Kms into the second Stage, the car stalled entering a corner. We tried everything to start and continue, but just couldn't. It is another learning lesson, though expensive in terms of losing from a winning position."

The winners in the other categories were: Mujeeb Rehman (Ravindra Kumar) in INRC-4, Raghuram Saminathan (Bharath Sargur) in Junior INRC and Rupender Sheoran (Mohit Malik) in FMSCI Gypsy Challenge.

Provisional results (after Leg-2):

Overall INRC: 1. Aditya Thakur / Virender Kashyap (both Himachal) (02Hrs, 03mins, 29.5secs); 2. Fabid Ahmer / G Sanath (both Palakkad) (02:04:29.2); 3. Maninder Singh Prince (Delhi) / Vinay Padmashali (Bengaluru) (02:04:36.8).

INRC-2: 1. Fabid Ahmer / G Sanath (both Palakkad) (02:04:29.2); 2. Sahil Khanna (Gurugram) / Harish KN (Bengaluru) (02:05:03.4); 3. Aroor Vikram Rao / AG Somayya (both Mangaluru) (02:06:25.7);

INRC-3: 1. Aditya Thakur / Virender Kashyap (both Himachal) (02:03:29.5); 2. Maninder Singh Prince (Delhi) / Vinay Padmashali (Bengaluru) (02:04:36.8); 3. Syed Salman Ahmed (Mysuru) / Rishab BK (Mangaluru) (02:06:08.6).

INRC-4: 1. Mujeeb Rehman (Kasargod) / Ravindra Kumar (Bengaluru) (02:12:18.3); 2. Deepak Chandra / Kenith Harsha (both Bengaluru) (02:24:39.6); 3. P Ananth Kumar / GM Manjunath (both Bengaluru) (02:29:18.0).

Junior INRC (only 2 finishers): 1. Raghuram Saminathan (Coimbatore) / Bharath Sargur (Bengaluru) (02:17:16.5); 2. Shivani Pruthvi (Davangere) / Deeksha Balakrishna (Bengaluru) (02:22:45.2).

FMSCI Gypsy Challenge: 1. Rupender Sheoran (Gurugram) / Mohit Malik (Faridabad) (02:13:46.0); 2. Sanjay Agarwal / Smitha Prasad (both Bengaluru) (02:15:17.7); 3. Mettuchetty Venkatapathy / S Santosh Kumar (both Coimbatore) (02:17:15.4).

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