In its fourth leg, the 2017 edition of the Dakshin Dare rally entered Maharashtra for the first time. The rally, in all its previous editions stuck to the southern part of India, which is why it was named Dakshin Dare in the first place, Dakshin meaning South.
Around the locales of Kuduremani, the rallyists battled the heavy rains and concluded Day 4 in Kolhapur with the second and final Super Special Stage(SSS) of the rally set in the city limits.
Amidst tough competition, the participants gave their best and defended their positions. The top three positions across Ultimate cars and Ultimate bikes therefore remained the same after covering 329 kilometres on Day 4 of the rally.
Team Maruti Suzuki's Suresh Rana and co-driver Ashwin Naik continued their lead driving the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, covering the distance in 07:21:13. Driving their Maruti Gypsy, Samrat Yadav and co-driver S N Nizami took the second spot, coming in at a very close 07:21:51. Sandeep Sharma with co-driver Karan Arya, also driving a Maruti Gypsy covered the distance in 07:37:27 taking the third spot in the Ultimate cars category.
In the Ultimate bikes category, R Nataraj continues to lead after he covered the 329 kilometres in 04:49:25. Abdul Wahid and Sanjay Kumar remained in the second and third spots, covering the distance in 04:51:58 and 04:58:56 respectively.
R Nataraj was quoted as saying, "The cloudy weather turned into a heavy downpour in no time. It is more challenging for two-wheelers particularly since maintaining balance is a task in the slush and in water-clogged areas."
"The test tracks (Super Special Stage) were equally challenging as the entire stretch was completely slushy but was the enthusiasm of the local spectators who were thrilled to experience motorsports in their city premise kept us going."
In its last leg, on 21 July, the rally will move to Pune, pushing the total distance covered, to more than 2000 kms.
Despite the rains and amidst the cut-throat competition, it is great to see how the top-spots remained with the same rallyists for the second consecutive day. The intensity of the competition can be seen in the close first and second spots in the Ultimate Cars category, with Suresh Rana's Grand Vitara finishing just 0.38 seconds before Samrat Yadav's Gypsy. It will be exciting to see how they fare in the last leg of the 2017 Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare powered by Mobil1.