Former Indian National Rally
Champion Amanpreet Ahulawalia emerged the winner of the three-day JK Tyre
Arunachal Festival of Speed at the Dirang
Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. The Noida-based veteran rallyist and his navigator
Ajay Kumar were virtually unbeatable on each of the three days, conquering
eight of the ten stages to pocket a major chunk out of the total prize money of
Rs 10 lakh.
On the third and final day
too, he won the first three Special Stages before easing up on the last one. He
finished all the stages, including the Super Special Stage on Day 1, in just
over an hour to win with an impressive 27 second lead.
Amanpreet, who owns one of the
largest rally car workshops in India, gave all the credit to 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, flashing a
Coorg’s INRC regular KM
Bopaiah went all out in his 1600cc Vento but still had to settle for the second
place. He was barely 2 or 3 seconds off the leader in each of the stages, and
even claimed the final stage, but the 28 second deficit over the first two days
proved to be a bridge too far to cross.
He finished all the stages in
one hour and 29 seconds. “I gave it my all in the Special Stages. But I guess
my car wasn’t suited for some of the rough terrains and the uphill climbs,” he
Delhi’s Sandeep Sharma held on
to his position to take the third place. His feat was particularly laudable as
he was driving a stock car, and it was clear on the second day itself that it
was struggling. “I knew I had a huge disadvantage. But I pushed myself and my
car to our limits today as I firmly believe that that’s the only thing that
counts, not where you finish,” he said.
In the Autocross for local
talent, Babit Lyngdoh continued his good run to win the last two sprints on the
third day to become the local hero. Maninder, wife of Sandeep Sharma and the
only lady driver in this category, slipped from her second place to finish
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