The first round of the FMSCI INRC 2018 got off to a flyer with an action-packed weekend. The rallying was non-stop with 31 competitors starting it out for the top honours. With only 15 competitors completing all 10 stages of the rally, it was clear that the conditions weren’t the easiest for the drivers as well as their machines in Chennai.
Vicky Chandhok who made a comeback to competitive rallying after 18 years finished on the podium in 3rd place in the INRC 1 category and 8th overall. Vicky Chandhok was piloting the Volkswagen Polo R2 built by Volkswagen Motorsport team along with co-driver Chandramouli from Bengaluru.Vicky Chandhok and Chandramouli with thier trophies. (Photo: Volkswagen)
Speaking about his experience in his comeback rally and a podium finish, Vicky Chandhok said, “I am truly delighted with the results. The hard work put by the Volkswagen Motorsport team, my navigator and myself has definitely paid off.” He further added, “The absolutely testing weather conditions were not making things easy for Chandramouli and me. However, the brilliantly put together rally-car and our strong determination saw us take the podium today!”
Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India said, “It has been a brilliant opening rally weekend of 2018. There was a lot of learning for the teams and the drivers. Our Polo R2 ran superbly through the 10 stages finishing on the podium eventually. I would like to congratulate Vicky and Chandramouli on their brilliant drive and teamwork, they have done a fantastic job in these unforgiving weather conditions.”
There were, in all, 10 stages covering a total distance of 102.2km. Stages 1 and 6, the Super Special Stages (SSS), was run on the 3.1km tarmac surface of MMRT. Competitors also moved to the AAVISA golf course section measuring 13.85km, where stages 2 and 4 ran in the forward direction, while stages 7 and 9 ran in the reverse direction. The third part of the rally, for stages 3, 5, 8 and 10 were at the MMRT track on a mix of gravel and tarmac measuring 10.15km, with the latter two being run in reverse direction.
INRC 2 category was won by Karna Kadur while second place was taken by Rahul Kantharaj, both driving Volkswagen Polo rally cars. INRC 3 was won by Vikram Aroor followed by Dean Mascarenhas, the champion of the INRC 3 category in 2017. Both Vikram and Dean were also driving Volkswagen Polo rally cars.