Chethan bags top honours at Nashik Rally

Nashik, Dec 12 (IANS) Chethan Ganapathy made the best use of the absence of Team TVS Racing and powered to a convincing victory in the MAK Rally of Maharashtra, the third round of the MAK Indian National Rally Championship for motorcycles here Sunday.

Venu Ramesh Kumar of Coimbatore finished overall second while local boy Sameer Kulkarni took the third place.

‘Unlike the rallies in southern India where we only have to control the speed because of long straights, the Nashik rally gave some excitement with uphill and downhill winding roads, which is the true test for both the men and machines,’ said Venu, who also won the Coimbatore leg and is leading the class.

The third of the five rounds is being organised by Western India Sports Association (WISA) under the aegis of Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), the governing body for the sport in the country under the International Motorcycle Federation (FIM) regulations. The rally is promoted by IMG Sports and Pro Sports Promotion (PSP). Bharat Petroleum, with its MAK Lubricants brand, is the principal sponsor.

The riders were all praise for the rally which provided thrills to both the riders and the spectators and was one of the best organised events. In all, 22 of the 27 starters finished the rally that was held near the foothills of the Sahyadri mountain range.

Local riders had a good outing as many Nashik residents went to cheer the riders, but crowd puller and local favorite Paritosh Kohok was unlucky as he was forced to pull out due to a gearbox problem in his bike.

Other competitors from Nashik kept the battle going and many made it to the podium. In fact, in Group D (4 stroke, 131-165cc) class, local riders took all the places on the podium. Sameer Kulkarni took the top honours followed by Nishit Zaveri and Amit Belgaonkar.

Unaudited final classification:

Overall: 1. Chethan Ganapthy; 2. Venu Rameshkumar; 3. Sameer Kulkarni.

Group D (4 stroke, up to 130cc): 1. B Dhananjay; 2. Rohit Gowda; 3. Shashank Shewale. Group D (4 stroke, 131 to 165cc): 1. Sameer Kulkarni; 2. Nishit Zaveri; 3. Amit Belgaonkar.

Group B (4 stroke, up to 130cc): 1. D. Nandkumar. Group B (4 stroke, 166-210cc): 1. Siddharth Wodeyar. Group B (4 stroke, 211-260cc): 1. Chethan Ganapathy; 2. Venu Ramesh Kumar; 3. Kalyan Jambhekar. Group B (2 stroke, up to 130cc): 1. Suraj Kute. Group B (2 stroke, 131-165cc): 1. Mohan Pawar.