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2018 Rain Forest challenge: Report 2

July 26, 2018, 01:20 PM IST by Bilal Ahmed Firfiray
2018 Rain Forest challenge: Report 2

- Sanbir Singh Dhaliwal retains the top spot at the end of Special Stages 6-9
- Rally veteran Jagat Nanjappa maintained his second position.
- Malaysian driver Mervyn Lim moved up to the third spot.

After a challenging start and heavy downpour this fifth season, the participants of the 2018 Isuzu Rain Forest Challenge were welcomed by clear skies on Tuesday. Day three had four Special Stages (SS) which took place in the mountainous region of Suquerbag in Quepem, Goa.

After the four stages - SS6 to SS9 - Sanbir Singh Dhaliwal and his co-driver Gurpartap Singh Sandhu from Chandigarh maintained their position at top of the score board, scoring 687 points out of 900. Coming in second place was veteran rallyist Jagat Nanjappa and co-driver Chetan Changappa with a score of 669 points. Meanwhile, the Malaysian team of Mervyn Lim and co-driver Alex Tan, representing Team G.O.A. Fairmont, jumped up eleven spots to claim the third position with 567 points. Following them was the defending RFC India Champion Gurmeet Virdi and Kirpal Singh Tung from Chandigarh (565 points).

The SS6 made the competitors go down the mountain on an ‘S’-shaped track; then climb up through two gates, using a winch. In the SS7, the competitors again had to go down towards a track, where they had two ascents, of which they had to first take the right slope and climb up; then take a U-turn and come back down to the same spot; after which take the slope towards the left; and then climb up. For the SS8, the participants were required to speed-run for around 100m, after which they had to climb a 3.5-feet wall then go down an incline; make a U-turn and come back up; then climb up a steep slope of 60 degrees and speed-run towards the stop. The arduous SS9 proved to be the herculean task of the day. It was the longest stage where the competitors started through a water pit; descended down a drop; then climbed up an incline using a winch or a sand-ladder; followed by another incline; then went through a gate and climbed up a slope yet again before moving towards the finish box. Similar to the SS1, the SS9 remained unconquered, with only three contestants reaching the finish point.

The next set of stages will be held at the same location and then the comeptition will move to Green Hills Agri Farm in Maina, Quepem on 26 and 27 July, before eventually culminating at the Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat on 28 July.

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