The final two stages turned the fortunes around for Team Mahindra's Amittrajit Ghosh and co-driver Ashwin Naik as they won the Rally of Arunachal, the third round of the MRF-FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) near Itanagar on Sunday.

Mahindra looked set for two podium finishes after Gaurav Gill had a lead of well over a minute and Ghosh was third after the fourth stage.

But a mechanical failure on Gill's XUV500 in the final kilometre of the sixth ended his race, finishing 13th.

The three time Asia-Pacific champion and his co-driver Musa Sherif had floored through the tarmac course on NH415 between Chimpu and Hollongi, even on stage 5, clocking average speeds of 115 kmph.

Ghosh, who finished with an aggregate timing of 57:33.6 minutes, had given up on pursuing the top spot.  

“Things were looking grim after the stage one where we finished 9th. We knew we have to push all the way to improve our overall standing. Coming in today’s stages where we were aiming for the second spot but ended up winning,” said Ghosh.

Just five seconds behind Ghosh, INRC-2 competitor, Snap Racing’s Phalguna Urs and co-drive Srikanth finished second on the podium in their Volkswagen Polo.

The rallyist from Mysore banked on an impressive showing on day one, where he finished second after four stages, above Ghosh. Some mechanical troubles had kept him from pushing too hard on the second day.

“The mount felt a little loose and we could feel the engine rattling, so I decided to not push too hard and settle to be top of my category,” said Urs.

Team Champions’ INRC-3 competitor Dean Mascarenhas, in a VW Polo, claimed the third spot on the podium.

The rain had troubled Dean, who was not on the suitable tyres, during the first three stages but he made it up in the following stages.