Bangalore, Sep 23 - Crowd favourite Lohitt Urs (co-driver B.S. Sujith Kumar) of Team PGA Motorsports claimed his maiden Karnataka-1000 title in nine attempts as he comfortably defended his overnight lead by clocking the fastest time overall in the first round of the FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship here Sunday.
Urs from Mysore gave a brilliant exhibition of power driving during the 2.6 km long Spectator Special Stage, clocking two minutes, 55.2 seconds in his stock Mitusubishi Lancer Cedia, just two seconds adrift of the day’s quickest man, Zuhin A. (Musa Sherif) of Team Kajah Motorsports, who was in a four-wheel drive Subrau Impreza WRX STi, the lone entry in the Indian National Championship category.
Urs, whose father Vijay had won the K-1000 as a co-driver to Prakash Kadur way back in 1984, was over the moon and dubbed his success as “very, very special” as he finished 36.7 seconds clear of second placed Amittrajit Ghosh (Ashwin Naik) while young Karna Kadur (Somonita Ghosh) came in third in the INRC class (Group N, 2000cc).
Equally special was 18-year-old collegian from Mangalore Dean Mascarenhas (Shruptha Padiwal), who won his fourth career title by topping the Junior INRC class, sparing over five minutes to Karan AM (Shanmuga SN).
While Urs cornered much of the attention, it was Mascarenhas who showcased his potential with another excellent drive. Though the St. Aloysius College student was some six seconds slower than Karan in the Triple-S, his victory headlined his status as one of country’s most promising rally drivers.
However, Mascarenhas, a second year Commerce student, will be skipping the second round in Mysore next month to attend examinations.
Meanwhile, overnight leader Aditya S (Kariappa KB) took the honours in the 1600cc class, finishing 14.6 seconds ahead of Siddharth Ranganekar (Nitin Jacob).
Undoubtedly, the man of the moment was Urs who could barely contain his emotions.
“From the time I was a kid and started following rally, I always wanted to win the K-1000. I had come close a few times earlier, but actually winning it is very, very special,” Urs said.
“It will be nice to take home a second K-1000 trophy after a gap of 28 years after my father had won in 1984, but as a co-driver to Prakash Kadur,” said Urs, whose power-slides through the last corner had the huge crowd in raptures.
Provisional final classifications:
INC: Zuhin A / Musa Sherif (Kajah Motorsports) 1 (1hr, 27mins, 27.7secs).
INRC: (Group N, 1600cc): Aditya S / Kariappa KB 1 (01:36:06.2); Siddharth Ranganeskar / Nitin Jacob 2 (01:36:20.8); Prakhyat H Shirole/ S.M.Bharath 3 (01:38:19.1).
Junior INRC: Dean Mascarenhas / Shruptha Padiwal 1 (01:30:24.8); Karan AM / Shanmuga SM 2 (01:35:52.6); Vineet Tom Vincent / Sob George 3 (01:39:05.8).