Season Finale ‘MRF 42nd K1000 Rally’ sets stage for MRF FMSCI INRC & IRC title showdown

Bengaluru, 17th December 2016: The top rally drivers of the country head into this weekend’s MRF 42nd K1000 Rally locked in a fierce showdown for the MRF FMSCI Indian National Rally (INRC) and MRF FMSCI Indian Rally (IRC) championships, setting the stage for an electrifying finale to a hotly-contested season.

The ceremonial flag of MRF 42nd K1000 Rally in Bangalore on Saturday

The ceremonial flag of MRF 42nd K1000 Rally in Bangalore on Saturday

Karna Kadur, along with co-driver Nikhil Pai, leads the overall standings of the MRF FMSCI INRC having become the fourth different winner this season following his victory in the Coffee Day India Rally a fortnight ago in Chikmagalur.

Amittrajit Ghosh and co-driver Ashwin Naik are also vying for the win. The former championship-leading pair had been on course to win in Chikmagalur and therefore extend their title advantage only for mechanical failure to force them to retire with just one special stage to go.

2016 APRC Champion Gaurav Gill along with his INRC co-driver Musa Sherif, Arjun Rao and co-driver Satish Rajagopal & Dr. Bikku Babu and co-driver Milen George are the other teams in the fray looking to win the event.

Karna Kadur said, “We started this season; didn’t expect the results to be so good. We are happy that we are leading the championship overall; looking forward to a good result in the season finale”.

Dr. Bikku Babu said, “We have been quick from the very first rally in the group (INRC 2000cc); due to mechanical issues in most of the rallies, we have managed to secure second position in our category. Our aim now is to win the K1000 rally in our category”

Amittrajit Ghosh said, “It is a pity what happened in Chikmagalur but that is rallying and that is life. I want to thank Team Mahindra Adventure for a great season of rallying and look forward to giving my very best as always, hopefully resulting in winning the coveted K1000 again.”

Arjun Rao said, “This year has been far better than last year. Driving the VW Polo R2 has been more reliable than last year. In terms of championship, it was looking strong until Chikmangulur, due to the engine problem we had to drop out from the rally. So we have to go all out at the K1000 rally in order to win overall and clinch the championship”.

In the MRF FMSCI IRC, Abhilash P G looks to seal the championship in this round ahead of Samir Thapar.

Abhilash P G said, “Looking forward to the K1000 rally; would like to finish it with a win and start work on the next calendar year with my team and car”.

The special stages of this weekend’s season-ending round are in Hosadurga, on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

The cars will chalk up a total of 103.80 kilometres, thundering through 6 stages comprised of 67.20 kilometres of fast, gravel-strewn sweeps picking their way through a landscape of picturesque valleys pockmarked by towering boulders.

Unlike in Chikmagalur where the tight twists favoured the nimble-handling VW Polos, the layout of the stages in Bengaluru should present all makes in the INRC a level playing field.

The Mitsubishi Evos competing in the MRF FMSCI Indian Rally Championship (IRC) should come into their own, however, thanks to the superior grunt of their 300bhp engines.

It must be noted that the INRC and IRC are two separate championships and their results are not clubbed together or compared as they run distinctively different vehicles. The INRC is for two-wheel drive Indian vehicles only while four-wheel drive foreign vehicles are allowed to compete in the IRC.

As if the atmosphere heading into the weekend’s title decider wasn’t charged enough, the famously-capricious weather around Hosadurga – known to have a micro-climate of its own – could add a further dose of drama to the proceedings.

Mr. Shivu Shivappa, Clerk of the Course, said, “KMSC has been running this event successfully for the past 41 years without any break; this is the only rally that has been running for so long. We wish to inform that the adequate safety parameters are in place; sponsors are on board. Finally, the stages are new and challenging and I am sure the competitors will enjoy that. We welcome all competitors to the MRF 42nd K1000 Rally 2016”.

Mr. Arindam Ghosh, Director, RRPM, the promoters of the MRF FMSCI INRC and IRC, said, “It gives me great joy to come to the final round of the championships having witnessed an extremely competitive season which has brought back Indian rallying to the forefront. Having secured the rights for the next two seasons, we promise to take Indian rallying even further in the coming years.  I would like to once again thank MRF Tyres, Mahindra Adventure, Pincon and Polaris for making all this possible and look forward to their continued support”.

The Bengaluru round brings the curtain down on a riveting and unpredictable season of national rallying. The INRC in particular boasted an intensely competitive field with four different drivers winning the opening four rounds.

The hard-fought battles, with each of the events won by extremely narrow margins, the skills and technology on display and professionalism of the championships proved to be a major shot in the arm for Indian rallying.

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