INRC: Dean Mascarenhas dazzles on a hot day

Team Champions Dean Mascarenhas (co-driver Shruptha Padival) was not at his aggressive best but, he was still strong enough to finish on top of the pack on day two of the 41st South India Rally.

Dean Mascrenhas

Dean Mascrenhas of Team Champions attacking the stages on the second day of the 41st South India Rally at MMRT in Chennai on Saturday.   -  Special Arrangement

Team Champions Dean Mascarenhas (co-driver Shruptha Padival) was not at his aggressive best but, he was still strong enough to finish on top of the pack on day two of the 41st South India Rally, the first round of the Champions Yacht Club – FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship here on Saturday.

It was seasoned campaigner Bikku Babu (co-driver Milen George) from the same team who shot into the lead the other day. Team Mahindra Adventure's Super Star Gaurav Gill trailed him by just seven seconds and, obviously one expected him to come back with a bang. But his car let him down for the second day in trot but recovered late in the evening to finish ninth.

And that saw some interesting battle between the others. Dean, the INRC 2 driver supported by JK Tyres, squeezed the best out of his car in the first stage of the day but failed to carry it forward in the very next stage at Aavisa. And that turned the contest closer still.

Related: Gaurav Gill puts a bad day in office behind him

The lead kept changing hands between Chetan Shivram (Dilip Sharan), Rahul Kantharaj (Vivek Bhatt) and Bikku from there. But, at the end, it was Dean who had the last laugh with an overall timing of 54:48.8s ahead of Rahul, who timed 54:58.1s.

"The issue was with the ECU and the engine. I don't know exactly what it is but they are trying to rectify it," said Dean.

"We lost lots of time in the second stage but though the service crew worked on it the problem kept coming back. But, it was far better than the morning loop," he added.

The results (provisional)

INRC overall: 1. Dean Mascarenhas & Shruptha Padival 54:48.8s; 2. Rahul Kanthraj & Vivek Bhatt 54:58.1s; Fabid Ahmer & G. Sanath 55:03.0s

INRC: 1. Amittrajit Ghosh & Ashwin Naik 55:26.1s; 2. Gaurav Gill & Musa Sherif 56:30.3s; 3) Phalguna URS & Srikanth Gowda 56.54.7s.

INRC 2: 1. Dean Mascarenhas & Shruptha Padival 54.48.8s; 2. Rahul Kanthraj & Vivek Bhatt 54.58.1s; 3. Younus Ilyas & Harish Gowda 55:18.3s.

INRC 3: 1. Fabid Ahmer & G. Sanath 55:03.0s; 2. Chetan Shivram & Dilip Sharan 55:04.3s; 3. Sahil Khanna & Rajit Kadian 57.15.7s.