3 dead in Gill’s ‘racing accident’

Aayush Majumdar
Sunday, 22 September 2019

Rally of Jodhpur, third round of INRC season, called off

JODHPUR: Ace Indian rallyist Gaurav Gill’s car met with an unfortunate collision with three individuals on a motorbike who came on the track while the rally was in progress, forcing the Round Three of the Indian National Rally Championship to be called off on Saturday.

The entire incident transpired in a matter of a few seconds after the locals entered the track and were asked to leave the area by the race marshals, before Gill approached just off a sharp turn and met with a sudden collision with the now deceased individuals.

The organisers lamented the occurrence of the incident and confirmed that they had ensured all the necessary safety measures and required permissions were taken prior to the start, including warning the spectators repeatedly to stay away from the track.

“The rally had to be brought to an abrupt end after one of the cars hit a motorcycle carrying three people. The motorcycle had forcibly entered the barricaded area, breaking past the security barrier while the stage was still green. The driver was moving at high speed and could not even see the motorbike as it emerged at a sharp turn,” Arvind Balan, the local organiser of the rally said.

Another participant Phalguna Urs and his co-driver Srikant Gowda, driving the No 2 car, were also said to have faced injuries in the accident as they collided with Gill and co-driver Musa Sherif’s car.

J Prithiviraj, President of FMSCI and COC of the event, said, “It was an unfortunate incident that took place despite all safety measures being in place. We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family. The entire motorsports fraternity stands with them in their grief.”

When asked about the extent of injuries to the driver Gill, Vamsi Merla, Director of Champions Yacht Club and promoter of the event, said, “Gaurav is undergoing treatment at a local hospital for some respiratory issues due to the injuries he suffered. He was unaware initially of the state of the injured locals and expressed his condolences when informed. He has assured full co-operation with the process that follows.” Merla also confirmed that Gill’s co-driver Sherif suffered minor injuries.

The organisers also ensured that even stricter measures with regards to crowd control will be taken in future events to avoid such occurrences. The Rally of Jodhpur was to cover a total of 300 kms with 125 kms of special stages over the two days, and a total of 53 teams were to contest the now cancelled rally.

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