Veteran Thapar put to good effect all the benefits of a four-wheel drive as he deftly drifted the Evo through the corners and showcased the awesome speed of the car much to the delight of the massive gathering at the Amber Valley school grounds. He clocked two minutes, 39.3 seconds over the 2.5 km course.
The coffee town was treated to some spectacular display of driving as besides Thapar, former World Rally champion Karamjit Singh (Jagdev Singh) from Malaysia, in a Volkswagen Polo R2, who was the second quickest in 02:42.8, and 2013 Asia Pacific Rally champion Gaurav Gill (Musa Sherif) driving the Mahindra XUV 500 put in a show that befitted the event, which is a candidate for a round of the 2014 Asia Cup.
As well as the big guns drove, the compact Volkswagen Polo cars were as impressive with Sirish Chandran (Nikhil Pai) of Slideways Industries topping in the INRC segment with a run of 02:45.3 that put him on top in both the Overall and 1600cc classes.
Close behind Chandran was the 1600cc championship leader Arjun Rao (Satish Rajagopal), also in a Volkswagen Polo, clocking 02:45.7.
Meanwhile, Vikram Mathias (Vivek Ponnusamy) of Team Jungle Hut in a VW Polo, powered by 1.6 turbo-charged diesel engine and which is being tested for an entry next year set a few hearts aflutter as the former National champion clocked an impressive 02:45.7.
The start grid was reduced to 38 after three more entries pulled out due to various reasons and the cars will head to the Special Stages that will be run on Friday and Saturday.
INRC Overall: Sirish Chandran/Nikhil Pai (Slideways Industries, VW Polo) 1 (02:45.3); Arjun Rao/Satish Rajagopal (VW Polo) 2 (02:45.7); Girijashankar Joshy/Chandramouli (Mitsubishi Cedia) 3 (02:46.0).
INRC 2000cc: Girijashankar Joshy/Chandramouli (Mitsubishi Cedia) 1 (02:46.0); Vikram Devadasen /Ashwin Naik (Mitsubishi Cedia) 2 (02:46.2); Rahul Kanthraj/Vivek Bhatt (Mitsubishi Cedia) 3 (02:46.5);
INRC 1600cc: Sirish Chandran/Nikhil Pai (Slideways Industries, VW Polo) 1 (02:45.3); Arjun Rao /Satish Rajagopal (VW Polo) 2 (02:45.7); Phalguna Urs/Anoop Kumar DS (VW Polo) 3 (02:47.8).
INRC JINRC: Aniruddha Rangnekar/Nitin Jacob (Slideways Industries, VW Polo) 1 (02:51.3); Adith KC/Harish KN (Honda City) 2 (02:52.4); Suhem MK/Jeevarathinam (Maruti Baleno) 3 (02:53.4).
SUV RC: Gaurv Gill/Musa Sherif (Mahindra Adventure Rally, XUV 500) 1 (02:46.1); Sunny Sidhu/ PVS Murthy (Mahindra Adventure Rally, XUV 500) 2 (02:49.9); Lohitt Urs/Bonnie Thomas (Mahindra Adventure Rally, XUV 500) 3 (02:50.7).
IRC: Samir Thapar/Gurinder Singh Mann (JCT Rallying, Mitsubishi Evo X) 1 (02:39.3); Karamjit Singh/Jagdev Singh (Slideways Industries, VW Polo R2) 2 (02:42.8); Prakhyat Shirole/Dr S Dinesh (Mitsubishi Cedia) 3 (02:54.4).
--IANS (Posted on 19-12-2013)