The 3rd JK
Tyre Arunachal Festival of Speed concluded with Philippos Matthai of Delhi
winning the overall title after stringing together consistent performances in
the Auto Cross, Hill Climb and Rally Sprint events. But it was by no means a
cakewalk for the experienced rally driver as he was pushed to the very end by
Asia-Pacific Rally Championship regular, Sanjay Takle and the defending
national champion in the Group N 2000cc class, Rahul Kantraj from Bangalore.
Each of the
three drivers registered wins in the three categories – Auto Cross, Hill Climb
and Rally Sprint – that make up the JK Tyre Arunachal Festival of Speed.
Matthai threw down the gauntlet by winning the Auto Cross on March30 in front
of packed house at the Lopon Stadium in the centre of the town, but Kantraj and
Takle hit back by winning the 5 km Hill Climb and the 6 km Rally Sprint
up a masterful display of speed and car control on the 5-km run up the mountain
face at the Rungja Apple and Kiwi Farm. Matthai, who was plagued by car
troubles in the Hill Climb event in the last two editions of the JK Tyre
Arunachal Festival of Speed, finally managed to break the jinx by finishing
second behind Kantraj. Takle came on to his own in the Rally Sprint by powering
his Mitsubishi Cedia through riverbeds and sandy soil of the Sangti Valley to
beat Matthai by massive margin of over 10 seconds. Kantraj claimed third place
in the sprint that was good enough to assure him of overall second.
In the 1600cc class, Karna Kadur, who dominated this category in the 2015 National Rally Championship, was the man to beat right from the first day. Though, Dean Mascarenhas tried to keep the Bangalore driver honest, in the end it was the flawless driving by Kadur that made the vital difference in the results. Druva Chandrashekar also of Bangalore finished in third place.
Another start attraction of the 3rd JK Tyre Festival of Speed, Suresh Rana, who has claimed the Raid de Himalaya nine-times driving various SUVs, remained the king of this category. Rana posted the best times in the SUV class in all the three disciplines ahead of Lima Jamir of Nagaland and local favourite Naku. In the quad class, Chibor from Meghalaya, who finished second in this class last year, managed to take an easy win ahead of Bitu and Kevin Salo from Nagaland. In the ladies class, Bethadsha Bareh took the top honours by winning the Hill Climb and Rally Sprint.
2000 CC 1. Philippos Mathai - New Delhi 2. Rahul Kanthraj – Bangalore 3. Sanjay Takle – Pune
1600cc 1. Karna Kadur – Bangalore 2. Dean Mascarenhas - Mangalore 3. Druva Chandrashekar – Bangalore
SUV 1 Suresh Rana - Manali 2 Lima Jamir - Nagaland 3 Naku – Arunachal Pradesh
Quad 1 Chibor - Meghalaya 2 Bitu – Arunachal Pradesh 3 Kevin Salo – Nagaland
North East Class 1. Lima Jamir – Nagaland 2. Naku – Arunachal Pradesh 3 Sajad – Guwahati
Fastest driver: Philippos Mathai - New Delhi
Ladies class: Bethadsha Bareh
Source: JK Tyre
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