South India Rally: Dean Mascarenhas tops quality field on Day 1

Chennai, March 15 (IANS) Mangaluru’s Dean Mascarenhas and co-driver Konganda Karumbaiah from Ammati, Kodagu, came up with a stunning drive to top the time sheets in the 47th MMSC South India Rally, the first round of the fmsci Indian National Rally Championship 2024.

With 51 competitors doing two loops of the 1.55 km Super Special Stage at the Madras International Circuit here on Friday.

While 30-year-old Mascarenhas (DB Motorsports) did the star turn in his Volkswagen Polo to emerge provisional leader, Bengaluru’s Karna Kadur combining with veteran co-driver Musa Sherif (Kasargod) for the first time, led the field in the AVT Gold Cup FIA APRC Asia Cup, but was only sixth fastest in the combined standings.

Further down the grid, Delhi’s Maninder Singh Prince (co-driver Arjun Dheerendra, Bengaluru) of SNAP Racing, topped in the INRC 2 class while Bengaluru’s Arjun Rajiv (co-driver Vinay Padmashali, Mysuru) took a slender leader in INRC 3 and Junior INRC, and Anushriya Gulati raced to a comfortable lead in the Women INRC categories.

Meanwhile, the Bengaluru pair of Pragathi Gowda and co-driver Trisha Alonkar, sponsored by SIDVIN and MRF Tyres, in an All-Wheel Drive Subaru Impreza for the first time, struggled a bit and was placed third in the Asia Cup, behind Kadur and Wadia.

Mascarenhas said: “I am driving the same car as last season which was a bit of up-and-down for me. But today, the car was great, and we had no issues with it. Happy to finish the day as the Overall leader, though I am aware it’s still early days and plenty more Stages to negotiate over the next two days.” The early leaders after Friday’s shootout when two cars raced on parallel tracks, face an acid test over the next two days when the competitors head out to Special Stages in AAVISA and Kelam beside the Track.

Unaudited classification (after Section-1, Leg-1):

FIA APRC-Asia Rally Cup: 1. Karna Kadur (Bengaluru) / Musa Sherif (Kasargod) (Arka Motorsports) (02mins, 56.8secs); 2. Harkrishan Wadia (Delhi) / Kunal Kashyap (Himachal) (Arka Motorsports) (02:57.7); 3. Pragathi Gowda / Trisha Alonkar (Both Bengaluru) (Pvt.) (02:58.7).

Fmsci Indian National Rally Championship:

Overall: Dean Mascarenhas (Mangaluru) / Gagan Karumbaiah (Kodagu) (DB Motorsports) (02:53.8); Maninder Singh Prince (Delhi) / Arjun Dheerendra (Bengaluru) (SNAP Racing) (02:55.3); Younus Ilyas (Kollam) / Chandramouli M (Bengaluru) (SNAP Racing) (02:55.7).

INRC 2: Maninder Singh Prince / Arjun Dheerendra (02:55.3); Philippos Matthai (Delhi) / PV Srinivasa Murthy (Bengaluru) (Arka Motorsports) (02:55.7); 3. Aditya Thakur / Virender Kashyap (both Himachal) (Chettinad Sporting) (02:56.5).

INRC 3: Arjun Rajiv (Bengaluru) / Vinay Padmashali (Mysuru) (Chettinad Sporting) (02:58.6); 2. Sheshank Jamwal (Himachal) / Aseem Sharma (Chandigarh) (Arka Motorsports) (02:58.8); 2. Vishak Balachandran (Thiruvananthapuram) / Anil Abbas (Ernakulam) (Chettinad Sporting) (02:59.3).

Junior INRC: 1. Arjun Rajiv (Bengaluru) / Vinay Padmashali (Mysuru) (02:58.6); 2. Arnav Pratap Singh (Delhi) / Rohit N (Bengaluru) (SNAP Racing) (02:59.8); 3. Nikhil J (Bengaluru) / Raghuram Saminathan (Coimbatore) (Pvt.) (03:04.3);

Women INRC: 1. Anushriya Gulati (Dehradun) / Karan Aukta (Arka Motorsports) (03:06.0); 2. Tarushi Vikram / Sheraz Ahmed (both Chikkamagaluru) (Pvt.) (03:21.9); 3. Harshita Raj Gowda (Bengaluru) / Vignesh Mahalingam (Coimbatore) (Pvt.) (03:27.1);

Fmsci Challenge – Gypsy: 1. Dr Akarsh Sundar (Chikkamagaluru) / Ravikumar Reddy (Bengaluru) (Pvt.) (03:15.4); 2. Sanjay Agarwal / Dheeraj Manae (both Bengaluru) (Pvt.) (03:16.9); 3. Jayanth Somanathan / R Rajashekar (Pvt.) (03:18.8).



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