Panaji - Karthick Maruti (co-driver S. Sankar Anand) with a penalty of 1 minute 52 seconds emerged overall champion in the Mahindra Monsoon Challenge Rally that concluded here Sunday.
Driving a SUV (Open), Maruti led from the start as the 31 vehicles travelled from Bangalore to Goa with night halts at Mangalore and Shimoga. In second place, eight seconds behind, was Sanjay Takale (Mohd Mushtafa) while Amittrajit Ghosh (Neerav Mehta) were third.
The 10-second gap that he enjoyed going into the third and final leg Sunday, provided him a good cushion as Takale fought back on the last day, but could make up only two seconds.
Ganesh Moorthy (T. Nagarajan) topped in the Car (Open) class while Shanmuga SN (Adithy Anthony) won in the SUV-OE (stock) category.
The 31 finishers had to negotiate, not just the monsoon rains, but also a tricky route that was a mix of highways and twisty secondary roads which wended through forest regions. The cleverly placed Time Control points also added some spice to the proceedings.
Overall/SUV-Open: Karthick Maruti / S Sankar Anand 1 (1min, 52secs penalty); Sanjay Takale / Mohd Mushtafa 2 (00:02:00); Amittrajit Ghosh / Neerav Mehta 3 (00:02:08).
SUV-OE: Shanmugha SN / Adithy Anthony 1 (00:06:30); Chidananda Murthy / BS Sujith Kumar 2 (00:06:38); T Sreenivasan / N Sugumaran 3 (00:08:25).
Car-Open: Ganesh Moorthy / T Nagarajan 1 (00:02:22); T Sasikumar / M Prakash 2 (00:02:27); AK Ramesh / Pradeep Kumar 3 (00:02:38).
Corporate: Philip Baklin / David Sharon 1 (00:23:40); Harsha Vardhan Raju / Partibhan 2 (00:25.14).