Younus Ilyas takes the win at the Sprint de Bengaluru which is the curtain-raiser event of the FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship 2019. Ilyas came out strong after being challenged by Bengaluru’s Dean Mascarenhas, winning the overall and INRC 2 category.
Ilyas and his navigator Harish Gowada were in a comfortable 10-second lead in Saturday’s night stage. The duo was challenged by Dean, who was driving in the INRC 3 category with a stock car which lacked he power. However, Dean managed to put in a time only two seconds off Ilyas’ well prepared Mitsubishi Cedia. He was equally brilliant in the next stage, clocking 4:58.30 which was just one second behind Ilyas.
The two stages, at LG Tranquil, tested the drivers and cars thoroughly, with tarmac, gravel, loose soil, sharp climbs and steep falls marking the route. It gave the huge local crowds a bird’s eye view of the entire run, making for a great holiday treat.
Mascarenhas then came into his own, winning the next two stages at the LG Champions County track handsomely. With only long straights and sharp curves and turns to conquer, he went all out and gained 9 and 8 seconds each to make up for his 10-second shortfall in the opening stage. Sadly for him, he was penalized 6 minutes for getting to the starting point on Saturday night late which proved to be too big a deficit to overcome. He slipped all the way to the bottom of the table.
“It was just bad luck,” Mascarenhas said. “My car didn’t start so I got delayed. I am, however, very happy with the way I drove and I am looking forward to a good season,” he added.
Ilyas expressed happiness at his performance and praised the stages. “It was a great outing. And I loved being out here! The stages were interesting and were challenging at times. But I am really glad to have come out on top,” he said.
Dhruva Chandrashekar, with his accomplished navigator Musa Sherif, quietly made their way up to take the second place in the INRC overall category. They clinched the INRC 3 category in the process.
“We are very happy with the way the curtain-raiser went,” Vamsi Merla, the CEO of Champions Yacht Club, the promoters of the INRC, said. “For the first time, we had a live screening of the stages at the venue as also a webcast. This is just the beginning,” he declared.
INRC Overall: 1. Younus Ilyas / Harish KN; 2. Dhruva Chandrashekar / Musa Sherif; 3. Sanjay Agarwal / Smitha N
INRC 1: Suhem Kabeer / J. Jeevarathinam; 2. Lokesh Gowda / D Uday Kumar
INRC 2: 1. Younus Ilyas / Harish KN; 2. Ritesh Guttedar / Lokaranjan; 3. Lanusanen Pongener / Vinay Kmar PM
INRC 3: 1. Dhruva Chandrashekar / Musa Sherif; 2. Chetan Shivram / Dilip Sharan; 3. Aroor Vikram Rao / Somayya AG
FMSCI CUP / 4WD: 1. Sanjay Agarwal / Smitha N; 2. Avin Nanjappa / Darshan Nachappa; 3. Nikhil J / Arjun Dheerendra
FMSCI CUP / 2WD: 1. Vaibhav Marathe / Arjun SSB; 2. Avinash DC / Kenith Harsha; 3. Adith KC / Venu Ramesh Kumar
Ladies Class: 1. Shivani Pruthvi / Deepti Pruthvi; 2. Harshita Gowda / Vidya M
Find out more about the INRC season opener here