The 2017 Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare marks the first time that the event has moved beyond South India, and into Maharashtra. That's exactly what happened on Leg 4 of the event, with participants having to battle heavy rains in Kuduremani, on their way to Kolhapur where the second Super Special Stage was held.
Suresh Rana and Ashwin Naik lead the rally after the fourth leg
The lead in both the Ultimate Cars and Ultimate Bikes categories of the event remained unchanged, with Suresh Rana and Ashwin Naik leading on four-wheels, while R Nataraj continued his lead on two wheels after the 329km-long stage.
Trailing Rana and Naik, who clocked a time of 07hr 21min 13sec in their Grand Vitara, were Samrat Yadav and SN Nizami in their Maruti Gypsy, with a time of 07hr 21min 51sec. Sandeep Sharma and Karan Arya in their Maruti Gypsy clocked a time of 07hr 37min 27sec en route third in the Ultimate Cars class.
In the Ultimate Bikes category, TVS Racing's R Nataraj continued to lead the way, having clocked a time of 04hr 49min 25sec, ahead of his team-mate Abdul Wahid Tanveer, who completed the stages in a time of 04hrs 51min 58sec. Third place in the category at the end of the fourth leg went to Sanjay Kumar who clocked a time of 04hr 58min 56 sec.
R Nataraj continues to lead the Ultimate Bikes class of the event after four legs have been completed
Speaking of how he was able to maintain his lead, despite the rains and the fickle nature of the weather, R Nataraj said "The cloudy weather turned into a heavy downpour in no time. It is more challenging for two-wheelers particularly since maintaining the balance is a task in slushes and clogged water. The test tracks were equally challenging as the entire stretch was completely slushy but what kept us going was the enthusiasm of the local spectators who were thrilled to experience motorsports in their city premise. One leg away, and the excitement knows no bound."
In its last leg, the rally will move to Pune clocking a total distance of over 2000 kms.