Dona Paula : After a week-long nail biting competition, Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh’s Gurmeet Virdi and co-driver Kirpal Singh Tung have won the Force Gurkha RFC India 2016 with a total score of 2177 points out of 2700. This is the first time in the three editions of the India Edition of RFC that an Indian driver has secured the top slot. In both the previous editions, Malaysian driver Tan Eng Joo (Tan Choon Hong), representing Force Motors, was the winner.
Malaysian driver Merwyn Lim (Hamizan Bin Abdul Hamid) of Force Motors has secured the second slot with 2166 points while fellow Malaysian and Force Motors driver Tan Eng Joo (Tan Choon Hong) is at the third position with 2111 points. Kabir Waraich (Gagan Sachdeva) of Force Motors and Goan driver Cedrick Jordon DaSilva (Floyd Preston) tied up for the fourth position with both securing 1938 points.
Rejoicing over this win, Virdi said, “The news is yet to sink in. The competition was extremely tough this year with neck to neck competition between the top 3-4 position holders. When I slipped down to the second position after the Terminator leg, there was a lot of pressure on me to perform well, especially since we were 40 points behind Merwyn with only three Special Stages remaining. There was no scope for even a single mistake and thankfully Kirpal and I managed to recover the lost points.”
The other key awards that have been announced include the Lifetime Achievement Award to veteran rallyist Jagat Nanjappa, the Team Spirit Award to Mumbai’s Team Fairmont, the Jungleman Award to Abinav Reddy Nukala and Laxmikanth Reddy Thota of Charminar Offroad Adventure Club, the Most Unique 4X4 Award to Vivek Kuriakosse (Ashok Kuriakosse) of Bangalore Off-road Drivers Association and the Environment Award to KTM Jeepers. A Special Award was given to the four Malaysians (Tan Eng Joo, Merwyn Lim, Tan Choon Hong and Hamizan Bin Abdul Hamid) for contributing significantly towards upgrading the skills of Indian offroaders through their exemplary performance. Another Special Award has been given to Pune’s Daulat Deepram Choudhary and his co-driver Jeet Tapaswi.
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