Bengaluru’s Karna Kadur (co-driver Nikhil V Pai) of Arka Motorsports stepped up to the challenging terrain to finish Leg-1 as the Overall leader in the 46th Karnataka-1000 Rally, a round of the FMSCI Indian Rally Championship here on Saturday which also saw the retirement of previous edition’s winner, Gaurav Gill (Musa Sherif) due to mechanical issues.
The day’s schedule was shortened to four Special Stages as against the scheduled six following a delayed start due to a technical hitch. However, Kadur, the championship leader, kept his focus and came up with a well-paced drive to take a 47.4-second lead over Palakkad’s Fabid Ahmer (Sanath G) on the completion of Leg-1 with Mangaluru’s Aroor Vikram Rao (Satish Rajagopal) of Mandovi Racing in third, trailing the leader by one minute.
Four more Stages are scheduled to be run on Sunday, the concluding day of the event.
Ahmer, who missed the 2021 National championship narrowly, leads in the INRC 2 category while Maninder Singh Prince (Suraj Keshava Prasad) of JK Rallying is ahead in the INRC 3 category, the organisers informed in a release on Saturday.
Leaders in the other classes were: Aeman Ahmed (Sagar M) of Ammyfied Rallying, in INRC 4; Arnav Pratap Singh (Arjun SSB) of SNAP Racing in JINRC and Samrat Yadav (Chandrashekar M.) in Gypsy Challenge which is a non-championship category.
As well as Kadur drove on Saturday, the expected clash with seven times National champion Gill dissipated in the day’s very first Stage with the Delhi star pulling out due to an issue with the gearbox of his Mahindra XUV 300 barely two Kms in the first Stage.
“We had put in some new parts, but in SS-1, we had to pack up due to some issue with the gearbox. I was looking forward to the event as the Stages were to my liking. We will restart tomorrow and I hope to score some leg points,” a disappointed Gill was quoted as saying in a release.
Kadur, aiming to win the National title this season, and who leads Gill by 44 points in the championship standings, said: “We stuck to our plan today which was to bring the car home. We pushed more in the second loop in the afternoon and made time on our morning run.
“I enjoyed the drive today. As for tomorrow, again, our aim will be to finish the event, exercise caution where required and push when we can. The car is still a work in progress and I am learning it all the time. Hopefully, we will have a good run tomorrow,” he added.
The Prasaditya Karnataka-1000 rally is being organised by the Karnataka Motor Sports Club under the aegis of FMSCI, the governing body of motorsports in India and promoted by Blueband Sports.
Provisional partial classification (after Leg-1):
Overall/INRC: 1. Karna Kadur/Nikhil V Pai (Bengaluru, Arka Motorsports) (36mins, 03secs); 2. Fabid Ahmer/Sanath G (Palakkad) (36:50.4); 3. Aroor Arjun Rao (Mangaluru)/Satish Rajagopal (Bengaluru, Mandovi Racing) (37:04.7).
INRC 2: 1. Ahmer/Sanath; 2. Suhem Kabeer (Virajpet)/Jeeva Rathinam (Bengaluru) (37:09.3); 3. Aditya Thakur (Solan)/Virender Kashyap (Shimla, Chettinad Sporting) (37:21.7).
INRC 3: 1. Maninder Singh Prince (New Delhi)/Suraj Keshava Prasad (Bengaluru, JK Rallying) (38:10.9); 2. Philippos Mathai (New Delhi)/Harish KN (Bengaluru, Arka Motorsports) (38:10.9); 3. Kuber Sharma (Solan)/Kunal Kashyap (Shimla) (38:18.1).
INRC 4: 1. Aeman Ahmed (Chikkamagluru)/Sagar M (Bengaluru, Ammyfied Rallying) (43:25.2); 2. Rakshith Iyer (Mysuru)/Avinash CA (Bengaluru) (43:45.6); 3. Jagbir Nirwan (Patiala)/Karanpreet Mattu (Kurukshetra) (47:43.2).
JINRC: 1. Arnav Pratap Singh (Delhi)/Arjun SSB (Bengaluru, SNAP Racing) (39:05.9); 2. Pragathi Gowda/Trisha Alonkar (Bengaluru, Arka Motorsports) (39:08.7); Ajay Shankar (Kollam)/Rohit Gowda (Bengaluru) (40:47.8).
Gypsy Challenge (Non-championship): 1. Samrat Yadav (Chandigarh)/Chandrashekar M (Bengaluru) (38:54.300); 2. Himanshu Arora (Delhi)/Vikram Thakur (Chandigarh, Ammyfield Rallying) (40:14.300); 3. Kariappa Mekerira (Kodagu)/Supreeth Sagar (Bengaluru, Ammyfied Rallying) (43:02.200).