Delhi driver Sandeep Sharma poised for maiden Dakshin Dare win

Hospet: Delhi driver Sandeep Sharma (co-driver Varun Davessar) is poised for his maiden win at the Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare Rally after he maintained his lead in the extreme car category on the penultimate day of the five-day event here on Friday.

Sharma, clocking an overall time of 2h 37m 46s in his modified Maruti Gypsy, was 28 seconds clear of his nearest rival Sanjay Aggarwal (Venu Ramesh Kumar).

Nine-times Raid de Himalaya winner Suresh Rana (Parminder Thakur), also driving a Gypsy, remained third on 2:40:39 after the completion of three special stages today. The rally concludes in Goa tomorrow after the drivers complete double runs on two special stages.

Talking about the longest stage of the day at 32km, 41-year-old Sharma said: "The track I would say was 60 percent tarmac and 40 percent gravel and was rather bumpy. However, I could still go flat out for major part of the route. Anything can happen, the focus remains on holding on to the lead tomorrow."

Natraj extended his lead in the extreme bike category to a whopping eight minutes. He led the pack with 2:14:21, ahead of Mohit Verma (2:22:20) and Promod Joshua (2:25:35).

Kartick Maruti (Shankar Anand) were leading in the four-wheel TSD category recording 1h:59s. Sachin Singh (Prathima) and Ganesh Moorthy (Nagarajan) were second and third on 2:38 and 2:48 respectively.

Results (overall): Extreme car: 1. Sandeep Sharma & D. Varun (2:37:46s), 2. Sanjay Agarwal & Venu Kumar (2:38:14s), 3. Suresh Rana & Parminder Thakur (2:40:39s).

Extreme bike: 1. Nataraj (2:14:21s), 2. Mohit Verma (2:22:20s), 3. Pramod Joshua (2:25:35s).

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