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Malaysia's Joo jumps into RFC India lead

Posted on Aug 13 2014 | IANS

Costi (Goa), Aug 13 : Malaysian driver Tang Eng Joo, with co-driver Tan Choon Hong, took the lead in the Force Gurkha Rainforest Challenge (RFC) India overtaking compatriot Mervyn Lim, with Hamizan Bin Abdul Hamid, after the six Special Stages (SS) of Predator category here.

In his factory modified Force Gurkha, Lim had led the RFC for the first 12 SS of the Prologue class but Joo, also driving a Gurkha, snatched the opportunity of going ahead Tuesday.

Joo is on top of the overall standings with 1,370 points ahead of Lim on 1,336.

Meanwhile, India's Gursahib Singh, with Tajinder Pal Singh, from Chandigarh-based Team Gerrari Offroaders remained the top Indian in third position with a total of 1,270 points as he drove his Maruti Gypsy on the muddy and rocky natural terrain amidst heavy rains.

The six Predator SS, spread over Monday and Tuesday, were held at a former mining site in the forests of South Goa, close to the Karnataka border.

After a disappointing Prologue, things started to heat up for another Gerrari Offroader Kabir Waraich, with co-driver Gagan Sachdeva, who in his Mahindra CJ3B leapt from ninth to end up fourth after Predator got over with 1,238 points, not far from teammate Gursahib.

Local man Cedric Jordan da Silva, with co-driver Floyd Dias, however, kept his fifth position in his Gypsy at 1,175 points and will be first looking to hold on to the position as there are 18 other drivers lurking behind.

After 12 SS of Prologue and six of Predator, the next six SS of Terminator will be held in Kumari in South Goa before proceeding to the final six SS of Twilight in Morlem, North Goa.

The RFC is an off-roading motorsport event where drivers have to fight rain, manoeuvre through changing paths, mud, steep slippery slopes, deep ruts, gullies, flooded rivers and landslides in their modified 4X4 All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV).

The lashing rains tend to alter paths and the competitors also have to deal with unpredictable erosion, fallen trees and other unexpected hurdles. This is the first time the event is being held in India.

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