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Last Updated At :- 22-01-2018 09:06 PM

Gill wins national rally title

Bengaluru, Jan 21 (IANS) Mahindra Adventures Gaurav Gill annexed his fifth Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) trophy, speeding away to a grand victory in the MRF K-1000 Rally here on Sunday.

Gill underlined his class and control once again, winning all the five Special Stages without having to look too much into his rear view mirror.

He recorded an overall timing of 55 minutes and 41.6 seconds in the 97.26 kilometre race on Sunday, almost three minutes ahead of the second finisher, to take his final tally to 100 points.

Gill, along with co-driver Musa Sherif (110 points), has been unbeaten in this year's tournament, romping home in each of the four rounds that he had taken part in.

He missed Round 4, the Rally of Chikmagalur, as it coincided with his assault on the APRC, but that didn't stop him from being crowned the undisputed king.

"It was a perfect day, a perfect finish for us," Gill said.

"The first couple of stages were slippery but we managed to handle them well; we controlled the rally thereafter," he added.

Dean Mascarenhas, despite rolling into a ditch in the first Super Stage and falling behind by over 16 minutes, managed to take the second place in the overall standings.

Dean (and co-driver Shruptha Padival), who entered the sixth and final round with a slim outside chance of upsetting Gill, picked up a puncture in SS2 but hung on to keep pace with the rest of the field in the remaining stages.

But the initial meltdown meant that he finished eighth (third in his category) and could add only four points to his final tally.

It didn't affect him in his category though, as he had already sealed the INRC 3 trophy in the last round itself.

Defending INRC champion Karna Kadur, however, took advantage of his bad luck and familiar home conditions to force his way to the third position in the K-1000.

It ensured him two podium finishes too, the second place in his INRC 2 category and the third place in the overall Championship.

Arjun Rao finally showed his true class, taking the second place in the rally but he had to be content with a sixth-place finish in the Championship thanks to DNFS in three rounds.

As expected, Rahul Kanthraj claimed the INRC 2 trophy, despite finishing third (fourth overall) in his category.

The only one who could have upstaged him, Younus Ilyas, pulled out during SS4 to fade out of his Championship battle with Rahul. He eventually had to settle for the third place, with Karna jumping a place to take the second position.

The FMSCI 2WD Cup was taken by Chetan Shivram and Rupesh Kholay, as they posted one more victory here.

Defending K-1000 champion Amittrajit Ghosh, who was hovering in the 3rd to 5th position all the way, crashed in the sixth and final stage to take the fifth place overall. His car got completely smashed but he and his co-driver, Ashwin Naik, got away with minor injuries.

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