Younus Ilyas & Harish K.N of Race Concepts win Sprint de Bengaluru

Younus IIyas' winning car - Sprint De Bengaluru
Younus IIyas' winning car - Sprint De Bengaluru

Bengaluru, March 24: Kerala’s Younus Ilyas survived a late attack from Bengaluru’s Dean Mascarenhas to dramatically win the INRC overall and INRC 2 categories in the Sprint de Bengaluru 2019, the curtain-raiser event to the FMSC Indian National Rally Championship here on Sunday.

The Race Concepts driver, along with his navigator Harish Gowda, seemed to be in control after storming into a comfortable 10-second lead in the night stage on Saturday.

But Mascarenhas, an acknowledged champion driving in the INRC 3 category, showed a glimpse of his speed and prowess on Sunday. Despite driving his stock car which clearly didn’t have enough power, he began Day 2 with a bang, finishing just 2 seconds off Ilyas’ well prepared Cedia.

He was equally brilliant in the next stage, clocking 4:58.30 which was just one second behind Ilyas.

The two stages, at LG Tranquil, tested the drivers and cars thoroughly, with tarmac, gravel, loose soil, sharp climbs and steep falls marking the route. It gave the huge local crowds a bird’s eye view of the entire run, making for a great holiday treat.

Mascarenhas then came into his own, winning the next two stages at the LG Champions County track handsomely. With only long straights and sharp curves and turns to conquer, he went all out and gained 9 and 8 seconds each to make up for his 10-second shortfall in the opening stage.

Sadly for him, he was penalized 6 minutes for getting to the starting point on Saturday night late which proved to be too big a deficit to overcome. He slipped all the way to the bottom of the table.

“It was just bad luck,” Mascarenhas said. “My car didn’t start so I got delayed. I am, however, very happy with the way I drove and I am looking forward to a good season,” he added.

Ilyas expressed happiness at his performance and praised the stages. “It was a great outing. And I loved being out here! The stages were interesting and were challenging at times. But I am really glad to have come out on top,” he said.

Dhruva Chandrashekar, with his accomplished navigator Musa Sherif, quietly made their way up to take the second place in the INRC overall category. They clinched the INRC 3 category in the process.

“We are very happy with the way the curtain-raiser went,” Vamsi Merla, the CEO of Champions Yacht Club, the promoters of the INRC, said. “For the first time, we had a live screening of the stages at the venue as also a webcast. This is just the beginning,” he declared.


INRC Overall: 1. Younus Ilyas / Harish KN; 2. Dhruva Chandrashekar / Musa Sherif; 3. Sanjay Agarwal / Smitha N

INRC 1: Suhem Kabeer / J. Jeevarathinam; 2. Lokesh Gowda / D Uday Kumar

INRC 2: 1. Younus Ilyas / Harish KN; 2. Ritesh Guttedar / Lokaranjan; 3. Lanusanen Pongener / Vinay Kumar PM

INRC 3: 1. Dhruva Chandrashekar / Musa Sherif; 2. Chetan Shivram / Dilip Sharan; 3. Aroor Vikram Rao / Somayya AG

FMSCI CUP / 4WD: 1. Sanjay Agarwal / Smitha N; 2. Avin Nanjappa / Darshan Nachappa; 3. Nikhil J / Arjun Dheerendra

FMSCI CUP / 2WD: 1. Vaibhav Marathe / Arjun SSB; 2. Avinash DC / Kenith Harsha; 3. Adith KC / Venu Ramesh Kumar

Ladies Class: 1. Shivani Pruthvi / Deepti Pruthvi; 2. Harshita Gowda / Vidya M

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Edited by Sal
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