JK Tyre Festival of Speed: Amanpreet wins title in style

Amanpreet (and his navigator Ajay Kumar) was virtually unbeatable on each of the three days, conquering eight of the ten stages to pocket the prize money of Rs. One lakh at the fourth edition of the JK Tyre Arunachal Festival of Speed.

Amanpreet Ahluwalia (left) and Ajay Kumar who won the JK Tyre Arunachal Festival of Speed here on Monday.   -  K. Keerthivasan

Amanpreet Ahluwalia has done everything in regal style at the fourth edition of the JK Tyre Arunachal Festival of Speed. From driving his Maruti Gypsy in a regal manner to answering questions with a distinctive touch of confidence from mediapersons, the 40-year-old has done it all in his own way.

With a cushion of more than 20 seconds lead going into the third and final day, Amanpreet completed the formalities on Monday without much fuss by winning the title.

Amanpreet (and his navigator Ajay Kumar) was virtually unbeatable on each of the three days, conquering eight of the ten stages to pocket the prize money of Rs. One lakh.

On the final day too, he won the first three Special Stages before letting go off the last one. He finished all the stages, including the Super Special Stage on the first day, in just over an hour to win with an impressive 27-second lead.

"It was an honour to compete against so many good drivers and good cars," said Amanpreet graciously. "But as a driver I am more comfortable in the hills, especially where it’s more about technique than speed, and I guess that’s where I scored," he explained.

Amanpreet credited his 1300cc turbo charged Gypsy. “I worked on it for three months, and was managing to produce close to 150-odd bhp power that is pretty good for a gypsy. I guess that was the only good and best part of my car: the engine,” he said.

Coorg’s K.M. Bopaiah went all out in his 1600cc Vento, but still had to settle for the second place. In the autocross for local talent, Babit Lyngdoh won the last two sprints on Monday to become the local hero.

The results (provisional):
1. Amanpreet Alhuwalia & navigator Ajay Kumar 1:00:02 ; 2. K.M. Bopaiah & Gagan Karumbaiah 1:00.29 ; 3. Sandeep Sharma & Prathap Kumar 1:02.09 ; 4. Baljit Singh & Phobe Dale Nongrum 1:04.08 ; 5. Shahid Khan & Phurpa Tseing 1:05.40.