Former APRC competitor Naren Kumar has won the last two rounds of the Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) and moved into the lead of the drivers championship. Gaurav Gill has had two DNFs in the last two rounds and drops down the points order.
The third round of INRC Rally of Rajasthan saw Naren Kumar with navigator Ram Kumar of Red Rooster Racing come out with flying colours despite clutch problems in the first four stages. Naren was in his elements as he thrilled the Sunday crowd with controlled aggression in the Super Special Stage but still kept his cool to finish the rally for a second successive victory after Coimbatore. This win firmly entrenches Team Red Rooster Racing on top of the leaderboard.
The third round of the high-octane Speed INRC also helped the champion from Coimbatore to take the lead over former champion and Red Rooster teammate Vikram Mathias by three points. Naren who got 10 points for this victory will now have 27 points to Vikram’s 24.
Driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia in the 2000 cc N+ category, Naren Kumar and co-driver Ramkumar are now the frontrunners for the National title despite the disappointing start in the first event at Nashik. Teammate Amittrajit Ghosh and co-driver Ashwin Naik too bagged valuable points to come back into striking distance.
With this win, Naren Kumar is within striking distance to match the long-standing national record of 7 INRC wins by N Leelkrishnan, Red Rooster Racing’s Chief Technical Director.
A delighted Naren Kumar of Red Rooster Racing said “I am really happy with my performance here. This win, coupled with that in Coimbatore, put the team is a very strong position. I am happy to be driving for Team Red Rooster whose technical expertise and approach towards rallying is world class. We are now looking forward to round 4 in Delhi to further consolidate our position in the championship.”
Unofficial Provisional Final Classification:
1. Naren Kumar & Ram Kumar (Red Rooster Racing) – 35:50.9
2. Amittrajit Ghosh & Ashwin Naik (Red Rooster Racing) – 36:36.8
3. Lohit Urs & Srikanth Gowda (Team MRF) – 37:12.9;