The rally fraternity was in a state of shock after three people lost their lives in an unfortunate incident at the Maxperience Rally, the third round of the Champions Yacht Club FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship here on Saturday. The rally came to an abrupt end after the incident.
The tragedy happened in the first stage when Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) crashed into a motorcycle carrying three people a few hundred metres away from the finish line. “The motorcycle had forcibly entered into the barricaded area, breaking past the security barrier while the stage was still green. The driver was moving at a high speed and could not even see the motorbike as it emerged from a sharp turn,” said Arvind Balan, the local organiser of the rally.
The Team Mahindra Adventure driver cannot be blamed for the accident as the Marshals had been constantly warning the fans not to breach the security barrier. Since the two-wheeler entered the rally route from a bend, the rally driver would have had no chance to bring his vehicle to a screeching halt. Gill was devastated by the incident.
The officials and crowd-control marshals were doing their best, trying to keep the spectators in control and within the demarcated area when the accident happened. “It was a blind spot and it took Gill by surprise. It was unavoidable,” said Vamsi Merla, the promoter of the INRC Rally.
“The organisers had done their level best to ensure safety measures. They went to the villages and asked the people well in advance not to venture into the stages. They had got the necessary permission and clearance for the rally and this was quite unfortunate. I wish and pray it never happens again. This is a black day in Indian motorsports,” he added.
He said Gill also sustained injuries. “He is undergoing treatment in a local hospital and I wish him a speedy recovery.”
Team Mahindra said its legal team was looking into the accident. “It was an unfortunate incident that took place despite all the safety measures being in place,” said J. Prithiviraj, the FMSCI president. “We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family. The entire motorsports fraternity stands with them in their hour of grief,” he added.
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