Bengaluru, Jan 20 (IANS) The sixth and final round of the MRF FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2017, the MRF 43rd K-1000 Rally, is poised for a thrilling finish here on Sunday, with favourite and current points leader Gaurav Gill looking to claim his fifth championship title.
Three-time Asia Pacific Rally Champion Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) is sitting pretty on 75 points but can’t afford to pull his foot off the pedal completely as Dean Mascarenhas (who has already sealed the INRC 3 category championship) with 63 points, can still claim the overall championship if he wins this round and Gill finishes no higher than 11th place.
The MRF 43rd K-1000 Rally 2017 will see 29 teams compete for top honours. It will take place near the Kadavigere gate, about two hours away from the city, and boasts of two special stages of 14.9 km and 8.9 km.
The teams will run through the two special stages thrice, adding up to roughly 72 km of special stages.
“It has been another exciting season of Indian rallying. I want to thank MRF Tyres, Mahindra Adventure, CARTAir, Isuzu, Arunachal Tourism, York, Arya & Century Club for their support” Arindam Ghosh, RRPM’s Director, the promoters of the MRF FMSCI INRC, said on the eve of the rally.
“Gill has dominated despite missing out on one round. He has won the other three rounds but he must bring it to the finish here to win the championship,” he added.
Defending champion Karna Kadur and Nikhil Vittal Pai are trailing in fourth position with 43 points after courting disaster in Jaipur and Arunachal. INRC 2 category driver Karna will, however, give it his best shot on home turf.
He can still make the podium by upstaging Rahul Kanthraj, who is just ahead of him with 47 points.
Last year’s K-1000 Rally winner, Amittrajit Ghosh (40 points) in the second Team Mahindra Adventure XUV 500 will try and make it two wins in a row come Sunday.
In the INRC 2 category, Rahul Kanthraj and Vivek Y Bhatt (79 points) look good to take the championship but must finish ahead of Younus Ilyas and Harish K.N., who with 58 points can still pip them to the post.
In the overall team championship, Mahindra Adventure leads Arka Motorsports by 35 points with both having a chance of winning the championship.