Gurmeet Virdi retains his first position on Day 2 of Force Gurkha RFC India 2015
After an excellent head start in the first six Special Stages of the Prologue leg, Gerrari Offroaders Chandigarh’s Gurmeet Virdi (co-driver Kirpal Tung) has maintained the lead with a total score of 936 points on the second day of the Force Gurkha RFC India 2015. Malaysian driver Tan Eng Joo (Tan Choon Hong) from Force Motors team, who was at the third position on Day 1, is now at the second spot with 931 points while compatriot Mervyn Lim (Hamizan Bin Abdul Hamid) is at the third position with 836 points.
Kabir Waraich (Yuvraj Tiwana) from Chandigarh did not have a good day and gave up his second spot to move down to the fourth position with a score of 786 points. On the other hand, Goan driver Cedrick Jordan DaSilva (Floyd Preston) demonstrated some brilliant off-road motorsport talent to climb up the scoring ladder from seventh to fifth position with 733 points.
After the report card of Day 1 had been declared, an increased sense of purpose and determination was evident in the 22 teams that are currently competing for the Force Gurkha RFC India 2015 trophy. Even the scorching heat, tempered with the occasional downpour, made no difference to the competitors who were leaving no stone unturned to outnumber each other in the remaining six Special Stages (SS) of the Prologue leg of the competition. Gurmeet maintained a consistently good performance throughout the day with an above 60 score in most of the SS and a perfect 100 in SS12. Tan Eng Joo made up for a poor start of the previous day with a flawless performance and scored above 90 in five of the SS because of which he is now only 5 points behind Virdi.
According to Gurmeet, “The first day was good for us and we got the ‘Catch me if you can’ flag for being the top team of the day. Now, my only endeavor is to retain the flag every day. The first day’s highlight for me was the SS 1 as 14 teams had got a DNF (Did Not Finish) before ours became the first team to complete it successfully. So far, we have been lucky but now we need to keep performing well to retain our ranking in the competition. I know it is going to be very tough but we are patiently analyzing each task and preparing our strategy before attempting it.”
Kabir Waraich, who had a podium finish at the inaugural RFC India last year and started this season on a brilliant note with 100 points in three SS on the first day, had a tough time in SS8 and SS10 in which he scored only 10 points each. However, he recovered his momentum in SS9 and SS11 and gained 90 points each in those tasks to bring up his overall score.
The SS 7-12 of the Prologue leg were considerably tougher than the first six challenges. The tasks were designed in such a manner that the teams’ off-road driving and navigation skills, knowledge of their vehicle and ability to recover it from tricky conditions were tested. As the competitors had to complete various SS within a limited time, their capability of performing under pressure was also tested. The difficulty level is expected to go a notch higher from SS 13 onwards when the event enters the Predator leg which will be held at an off-road location in Quepem. A total of 26 Special Stages will be conducted in four competitive legs – Prologue, Predator, Terminator and Twilight Zone – before the Force Gurkha RFC India 2015 Champion is announced based on the overall points gained at the end of all the SS.