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Naren Kumar triumphs

— Photo: Sampath Kumar

V.R. Naren Kumar and Ram Kumar of the victorious team.

BANGALORE: : Trailing after the first six special stages on day one, Naren Kumar of Team JK turned the tables on Team MRF's Karandeep Singh on the first special stage of the Mico Bosch K-1000 Rally 2005. Having taken the lead on the second day, Naren Kumar fought every inch of the 9km track to pull off a sensational win clipping 17 seconds off from Karandeep's final timing.

When the first day's timings were finally ratified the difference between Naren and Karandeep Singh was only 13 seconds. Arjun Balu had a four-second advantage over the third placed Naren but the gap was already being cut.

Naren and co-driver Ram Kumar were driving with a vengeance especially since his appeal on the bullock cart episode was being taken with a pinch of salt. The twists and turns on seventh special stage held no demons for Naren Kumar. At the end of the stage he had cut down the 13-second deficit and forged ahead by seven seconds.

Turning point

Karandeep made some ground clocking three seconds faster timing on the next stage but Naren was faster by one second on the ninth stage. The turning point was on the 10th special stage when the Coimbatore speedster was 16 seconds faster and built up a strong lead.

On the 12th and final stage Karandeep went flat out and was seven seconds faster but not enough to catch Naren.

In the 1400 cc section Sanjay Aggarwal had some divine intervention to bag a hat-trick in this year's calendar. Sanjay had won the Tura Challenge at Meghalaya and the Mysore Safari next. But at the K-1000 it was Prithvin Rajan who looked like bagging the honours. Prithvin's gear box packed up on the eighth stage of the rally and from then on Sanjay had a clear run.

This was Sanjay's eighth career title (including Rally Star Cup's) and third on the trot in the 1400 cc. Sanjay hopes to graduate into the 1600 class next year.

Girijashankar Joshi won the Rally Star Cup and Sunny Sidhu won the Gypsy class titles.

Provisional results:

Overall: 1. Naren Kumar/Ram Kumar (Team JK Tyres Baleno 1600) 1:20.27; 2 Karandeep Singh/ Jaidas Menon (Team MRF, Baleno 1600) 1:20.44; 3 Arjun Balu/Kumar Ramaswamy (Team MRF, Baleno 1600) 1:21.20; 4. Ranjit Ballal/Ramesh Kumar (Baleno 1600) 1.24.11; 5.Sanjay Aggarwal/Pradeep Kumar (1400cc Esteem) 1:26.57.

1400 cc: 1. Sanjay Aggarwal/Pradeep Kumar; 2. Phillipos Mathai/Ashwin Naik (Esteem) 1:32.02; 3. Anil Wadia/CK Chinappa (Esteem) 1:33.43.

Rally Star Cup: GS Joshi/GM Srikanth (Esteem) 1:27.45; 2. Chetan Shivram/Rupesh Kholay (Esteem) 1:31.54; 3.Nidu Syed/Chandrashekar 1:35.08;

Gypsy Class: 1. Sunny Sidhu/HS Bawa 1:30.31; 2. Sandeep Sharma/Kulbir Singh 1.34.48; 3. Sanket/ Ramesh Shanbagh 1:57.40.

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