The season opener of 2014 INRC held in Nashik between June 13 – 15 came to a nail-biting finish yesterday. The Rally saw about 20 cars and respective crew members fighting for the top spot with some fierce competition seen in the IRC 1600 category.
The competitors for the 2014 season are divided into three categories – IRC 1600, IRC 2000, FMSCI 1600 and these along with the bigger cars fought for overall positions. The IRC 1600 category saw about nine cars, the IRC 2000 had three cars, the FMSCI 1600 had five racers racing for the top spot and then there were two Super XUVs and an EVO X fighting for overall.
The competition was intense in every category with most action seen for the overall win and the IRC 1600. While the battle between Gaurav Gill and Amitrajit Ghosh both driving a Mahindra XUV was escalating with every stage, the IRC 1600 saw another fierce race between Hrishikesh Thackersey and Sirish Chandran both driving a VW Polo for the top spot.
In the IRC category Gaurav Gill beat Ghosh by 16 seconds on day 1, but additional time in service on repair works got him a penalty of 1 minute 40 seconds. While it was most certain that Gill could not win from there, he still managed to beat Ghosh to claim the top spot after Ghosh damaged his rear right suspension forcing him to cut down his pace.
The IRC 1600 saw Hrishikesh Thackersey navigated by our Associate Editor Ninad Mirajgaonkar putting a lead of 21 seconds on team Sirish Chandran and Nikhil Pai on day one. While it was their duty to safeguard their position until the next day, Sirish did manage to catch up with them in one of the stages. The battle between these two was a treat to watch and in the end Hrishikesh and Ninad Mirajgaonkar finished first followed by Sirish Chandran and Nikhil Pai with Druva Chandrashekar and Roopesh B finishing third.
The IRC 2000 category was won by Byram Godrej and Somayya A G driving a Polo followed by Rahul Kantharaj and Vivek Bhatt in a Cedia and Sumit Punjabi finishing third, also driving a Cedia. While Aniruddha Rangnekar and Arjun Mehta took the top spot in the FMSCI 1600 category, they were followed by Adith K C and Harish K N with Parag Dhhiwar and Aditya Dhhiwar finishing third overall.
Overall, the FMSCI INRC season beginner was a treat to watch, going forward the competition will intensify in the second race to be held in Coimbatore from July 11 to 13. Gaurav Gill will look forward to keep the winning streak going and so will the top finishers of every category.