The first round of the 2014 Indian Rally Championship has kicked off with the Rally of Maharashtra in Nashik and it was a rather red blur that headed to the top of the timing sheets. Driving the JCT Rallying Mitsubishi Evo X, Samir Thapar, co-driven by GS Mann, set a timing of 1min 36seconds. Thapar beat the Team Slideways Polo 1600 piloted by Sirish Chandran, co-driven by Nikhil Pai, who were 2 seconds off his pace. Third spot on the timing sheets went to Team Yokohama's Rahul Kantharaj, co-driven by Vivek Bhatt, who set a timing of 1min 39seconds.
Samir Thapar and GS Mann head the timing sheets at the Rally of Maharashtra
Team Mahindra Adventure's SuperXUVs piloted by reigning Asia Pacific Rally Champion Gaurav Gill, co-driven by Musa Sherif set a timing of 1min 41seconds. While Amittrajit Ghosh, co-driven by Ashwin Naik set a nearly identical timing in his first ever competitive outing as a Mahindra driver. The team's third driver, Sunny Sidhu could do no better than 1min 42seconds. This, despite the fact that he is driving with both hands injured - twelve stitches on each palm we were told.
The fastest of the FMSCI 1600 Cup cars was Adith KC, co-driven by Harish KN, who set a time of 1min 46seconds.
The Rally of Maharashtra will continue with six Special Stages being held tomorrow at Manhere, Windmills and Sanghvi. There will be three Special Stages held on Sunday at the same venues.
So, who will win the only tarmac rally of the 2014 season? We ought to get a pretty good idea of things tomorrow! Watch this space.