Goa: Six years after his first and triumphant foray, Gaurav Gill returned to conquer the Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare once again, scorching the field in his inimitable style over five gruelling days.
With his trusted navigator Musa Sherif by his side, the six-time APRC champion won each of the five legs and most of the 15 Special Stages to re-emphasise his preeminence in the country.
In the bike category, Vishwas S.D claimed the overall title, making the most of overnight leader and firm favourite Yuva Kumar’s misfortune in literally the last Special Stage, SS12, of the rally.
Yuva, who was leading all the way from the start, saw his bike broke down with just 15 kilometres to go and by the time he could repair the damage, he lost 15 minutes and the crown.
Gill’s teammate Philippos Matthai (with PVS Moorthy) claimed the overall second place in the car category while Maruti Suzuki’s Samrat Yadav (with Karan Aukta) held on to the third position.
Gill and Musa crossed a significant milestone while racing away to their second victory in the Dakshin Dare.
It was their 50th rally together and their 31st win to set a unique Indian record. Incredibly, they made the podium each of the 35 times they had completed a rally, missing out the remaining 15 times only due to DNFs.
“Even after all these years, I retain the same enthusiasm for rallying. I give 200 per cent each time I drive,” Gill said.
Cars: 1. Gaurav Gill and Musa Sharif (6:57:44); 2. Phillippos Matthai and PVS Moorthy (7:12:00); 3.
Samrat Yadav and Karan Aukta 7:21:10.
Bikes: 1. Vishwas SD; 2. Vinay Prasad; 3.Yuva Kumar
MSDD Car Open
1. Pramod Vig and Prakash M; 2. Raghunandan and Sakthevel; 3. Santhosh and Naga.
MSDD SUV Open: 1. Vinay Kumar and Ravi Kumar
MSDD Day Car - OE: 1. Srikanth and Raghuraman; 2. Nanditha Reddy and Sanjana Reddy.
MSDD Day SUV - OE: 1. Philip Baklin and David Sharon; 2. Deepak Sachdeva and Japjyot Singh
MSDD Day Couple: 1. Captain Abhilasha Singh and Shailendra Singh; 2. Anil Abbas and Sini Anil; 3. Snighda Kemkar and Balachandra.
MSDD Day All Ladies: 1. Geetha Wadhwa and Pratibha; 2. Ashima Duggal and Amrita Shergil; 3.Usha Jain and Harshitha J Sonia.