Pune: After a tough start to the competition amidst heavy rainfall as well as a night stage on the inaugural day of ISUZU RFC India 2018, followed by a rest day to allow the contestants to recover, a clear weather and four more Special Stages (SS) greeted the competitors on the third day of India’s toughest international off-road motorsport event.
At the time of the announcement of the provisional results for SS 6-9, Sanbir Singh Dhaliwal (co-driver Gurpartap Singh Sandhu) of Chandigarh remained at the top of the leaderboard with 687 points out of 900. Veteran rallyist Jagat Nanjappa (co-driver Chetan Changappa) from Coorg also held on to the second position with 669 points while Malaysian driver Mervyn Lim with his co-driver Alex Tan, representing Team GOA Fairmont, jumped up eleven spots to claim the third position with 567 points.
He was closely followed by the defending RFC India Champion Gurmeet Virdi and co-driver Kirpal Singh Tung from Chandigarh with 565 points while Hyderabad’s Dr Chaitanya Challa (co-driver Shabarish Jagarapu) was at the fifth position with 526 points at the end of Day 3 of the competition.
Sanbir Singh Dhaliwal, who is representing Chandigarh-based off-road club Gerrari Offroaders, seems unfazed by the results on the scoreboard. He said, “There is no pressure on me whatsoever to retain the top position. I am just happy with how things have gone for me so far. I am not taking the rankings seriously as a large part of the competition is still remaining,” he said.
“My agenda in the coming days would be to complete all the stages without breaking my vehicle and enjoy the sport. I am hoping that my vehicle endures all the stress that I am putting on it,” he further added.