Gill, Ghosh, Kadur in three-way INRC title fight in Popular Rally
The 2018 season of the MRF Indian National Rally Championship is set for an epic conclusion this weekend as Kerala plays host to the season-ending Popular Rally.
Mahindra Adventure’s Amittrajit Ghosh has enjoyed the most consistent run of any driver so far, including a victory in the Arunachal Rally.
However, with the new N1 rule that allows drivers to drop their lowest scores, it’s his teammate and Gaurav Gill who leads the championship.
Gill, who also took part in four WRC2 rallies this year with MRF, holds a narrow one point lead over Ghosh, with Arka Motorsports’ Karna Kadur also in the fray.
Kudur, who drives a customer Volkswagen Polo and won the last round in Chikmagalur, has 55 points compared to 62 for Gill.
The Popular Rally was already flagged off on Thursday by K. Padmakumar, IPS, Hon. Transport Commissioner, Govt. of Kerala, from Kochi, but the first stage won’t begin until Saturday.
Nine tarmac stages in the Mundakkayam-Kuttikanam sector of Idukki district are scheduled for the first day of the rally, followed by two more stages and a Super Special Stage on Sunday.
The rally winners and season champions will be crowned shortly thereafter.
“We have had a very good championship this year, with intense competition in all the key categories,” the promoter of the championship, RRPM’s Arindam Ghosh, said. “We are set for an exciting finish and I wish all the competitors a grand run.”
Apart from the aforementioned trio of championship runners, several other top Indian drivers will participate in the Popular Rally.
The list include Dean Mascarenhas, Vikram Rao and Rahul Kanthraj.
Kerala will be represented by National Autocross champion Bikku Babu and INRC regulars Younus Ilyas, Jacob K J, Fabid Ahmer, Nibu Sayed and Noufal Sayed.
The South Indian state is hosting an INRC round for the first time since the start of this decade, although the Popular Rally has its roots dating back to 1982.
2018 marks the 24th time the Popular Rally is being held in Kerala.