Quepem (Goa), July 27 (IANS) Braving an injury scare which could been worse, Gurmeet Virdi (co-driver Kirpal Singh Tung) of Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh reclaimed the top spot with 1072 points out of 1500 on Day three of the Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India-leg off-road motorsport event here on Thursday.
Virdi, who is also the defending champion, picked up a knock on his hand during the second day while competing at the eighth stage when his car toppled over. The injury, after assessment later, did not turn out to be severe.
Meanwhile, Siddartha Santosh (co-driver Prithviraj AC) of Team Bangalore Offroad Drivers Association (BODA) was pushed to second position with 1066 points after toppling his vehicle sideways in stage 10.
Breathing down Santosh’s neck was Jagat Nanjappa (co-driver Chetan Changappa) from Coorg-based Team V5 Offroaders with 1021 points at the halfway stage of the competition.
Local player Cedrick Jordan DaSilva (co-driver Dushyant Khosla) retained the fourth position with 930 points while Vivek Thomas Kuriakosse (co-driver Ashok Abraham Kuriakosse) from BODA was at fifth with 859 points at the end of the day.
The winners of this event will represent India in the mother tournament, the Rainforest challenge in Malaysia to be held at the end of the year. There are 20 other similar qualifying meets going on across the globe.
The 38 participants were put through the wringer especially in stage 10 which was a quick course that required participants to go through some steep inclines and sharp turns before winching themselves up to the finish box.
The stage drew a lot of onlookers with some even terrified at the toppling of cars while scaling the inclines.
Stage 12 was a similar one as well, where vehicles had to brush past three narrow gates and find their way towards the finish line through some inclines.
Participants had to move through a narrow path towards several sharp turns before descending into two ditches filled with water and then retrace their way back to the stop box in stage 15 which was also challenging.
Cedrick, a popular face among Goans, said: “The first day was really tough. We had a couple of breakdowns which resulted in the loss of too many points and landed us on the tenth spot in the table. I had to complete stage 3 with a flat tyre and a faulty brake late at night. Since then, we’ve been constantly improving our performance and daily scores satisfactorily. Our plan is to maintain the performance and improve the position.”