Amidst some jaw-dropping
offroad motorsport action, Gurmeet Virdi (co-driver Kirpal Singh Tung) of
Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh reclaimed the numero uno position with 1072
points out of 1500 on Day 3 of Force Gurkha RFC India 2017.
(co-driver Prithviraj AC) of Team BODA (Bangalore Offroad Drivers Association)
was pushed to the second position with 1066 points after toppling his vehicle
sideways in SS (Special Stage) 10. He is closely followed by Jagat Nanjappa
(co-driver Chetan Changappa) from Coorg-based Team V5 Offroaders with 1021
Cedrick Jordan DaSilva
(co-driver Dushyant Khosla) retained the fourth position with 930 points while
Vivek Thomas Kuriakosse (co-driver Ashok Abraham Kuriakosse) from BODA was at
the fifth position with 859 points at the end of the day.
Team BODA's Siddartha Santosh
is not worried about losing his top position to Gurmeet. He said, "The
competition has so far been very good for us. We are not thinking about the
fact that we slipped a spot but are just concentrating on keeping up the pace.
In a long event like this, things can change at any moment so we can't predict
what'll happen ahead. It's a neck to neck competition and the difference
between the top three teams will be a close call of not more than 50 points
towards the end. There will be a lot of juggling of positions all the way to
the finishing line. The idea is not to do anything foolish and keep going
Day 3 at RFC India 2017 had 6
Special Stages running from SS 10 to SS 15 at Suquerbag in Quepem; testing the
38 participating teams in extreme off-road settings. SS 10 was a quick course
that required participants to go through some steep inclines and sharp turns
before winching themselves up to the finish box. SS 11 had the contestants
descend down a hill to cross a stream line and ascend up the track again to
navigate towards the finish line. SS 12 was again a quick course where vehicles
had to brush past three narrow gates and find their way towards the finish line
through some inclines. SS 13 required participants to sprint towards a point
from where they had to winch up an almost perpendicular ridge and take a sharp
left followed by an anti-clockwise loop towards the finish box through some
rocky obstacles. It tested drivers and co-drivers on their agility with
vehicles and equipment. In SS 14, the participants had to go in towards a few
sharp turns before winching out of a 70 degree and then a 90 degree incline and
head towards the finish line. In SS 15, the teams had to move through a narrow
path towards a few sharp turns before descending into two ditches filled with
water and then retrace their way back to the stop box.
After an exhilarating Day 1
and relatively laid-back Day 2, Day 3 of the country's toughest off-road
motorsport competition brought contenders back in the groove with a combination
of aggressive and technical stages. Merwyn Lim, who had a brilliant Day 3, explained,
"The course this year is incredibly tough as compared to the previous
editions of RFC India. It is technical, challenging and international; the
performance of Indian off-roaders at such a perilous track is commendable.
Talking about my personal performance, I'm driving a new vehicle which has its
own share of advantages and disadvantages. After a really bad start at Day 1,
I'm getting to know my vehicle better with each passing day. It's a long
competition and I'm looking forward to bounce back in the leader board very
Cedrick Jordan DaSilva is a
Goan off-roading star who has managed to impress everyone with his performance
lately. Amidst loud cheers from local supporters, Cedrick said, "The first
day was really tough. We had a couple of breakdowns which resulted in the loss
of too many points and landed us on the tenth spot in the table. I had to
complete SS 3 with a flat tyre and a faulty brake late at night. Since then
we've been constantly improving our performance and daily scores satisfactorily.
Our plan is to maintain the performance and improve the position." About
the competition at RFC India 2017, Cedrick feels that "All the stages this
year have been very tough and participants are finding it hard to edge past
them. The top 5 are pushing it really hard to narrow the points margin further.
I hope it gets tougher!"
N Abinav Reddy (co-driver Syed
Taj) of Team CORAC (Charminar Offroad Adventure Club) from Hyderabad is slowly
gaining momentum in the competition. As he explained, "Day 1 was not very
good for us. But we performed consistently on Day 2 and Day 3. The
disappointment of Day 1 made us resolute in terms of putting more efforts and
performing better on the track. Hopefully we'll catch up with the top
contestants in a day or two."
motorsport action will move to a new location on Thursday at Green Hills Agri
Farms of Maina in Quepem, where it will be held for the next two days. The
teams will subsequently travel to Rajiv Gandhi IT Habitat in Dona Paula for the
final leg of the competition, before the announcement of the RFC India 2017
Champion on 30th July.
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