Seven-time National champion JK Tyre’s Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) played with experience to finish on top of the overall table on day one of the Rally of Coimbatore 2022-the 2nd round of the Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) here on Saturday.
The three-time APRC champion, who loves to hit top speeds, decided to go easy for once. The average speed clocked was just 70kmph but that’s the way he approached the day from the start. “For a World Rally Championship (WRC) driver like me it is bad. I always touch speeds of 100 and above. That’s where you show your skill but, this time around, I wanted to bring the car safely home,” said the Delhi star Gaurav Gill.
Driving the XUV300, Gill managed a solid lead of 1 min 31 sec over his nearest rival Karna Kadur who is second currently and by 1 min 50sec over Arjun Rao who finished third. He made 37 seconds on the first stage and further built it up in the second stage that was repeated, to end the day on a merry note for the team.
He was quite pleased with his show. “I am happy that it ended the way we had planned the day,” said Gill and quickly added that he and Musa were literally chatting and correcting pace notes while on the move.
“Because we had never done such a distance on this car. It is 25 minutes of non-stop driving on loose gravel where there is so much wheel spin. There was so much heat as well. The engines, turbo, drive shafts, gears are not designed to have so much heat and so as a driver you need to be smart,” he added.
Fabid Ahmer, the reigning champion of INRC 2 from Kerala, began the day with a commanding show in the opening stage. He was right on top of the INRC2 table before a drive shaft issue cut short his journey midway through.
The INRC 3 category is ruled by JK Tyre with 19-year-old Jahaan leading the pack. With his controlled aggression on the track he is leading with 20 secs ahead of his team mate Syed Salman and over 55 secs from JK Tyre’s Kuber Sharma from Nalagrah (HP. Salman and Kuber are currently running in the second and third places respectively. “The stages are fun and my aim is to finish the rally”, said a confident Jahaan who is competing with the experienced boys in his category.