By Vivek Phadnis
Kolkata, 17 Nov 2014: It is time to pop the champagne bottle. After the disappointment in Bhubaneswar recently, Team Tata Motors’ Chidananda Murthy and BS Sujith Kumar, both Bangaloreans, clinched a hat-trick of National titles in the Pro Stock category when they won the Monsoon Drive 3, the seventh round of the 2014 Indian National TSD Rally Championship here. They have won the National title for the third time with two rounds to spare, in Ranchi and Chennai.
The results of the championship are taken for the best six results in the season. The excellent driving skills of Chidananda Murthy and superb navigation skills of Sujith Kumar ensured that they won five rounds. The wins came in Jaipur, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Goa and Kolkata. They finished third in Bhubaneswar but got 18 points (second place points) as the second place finishers in the rally were not in contention for the championship. Murthy and Sujith Kumar have 149 points, while another Team Tata Motors pair of Saurav Chatterjee-Ashoke Kumar Basu has 125 points.
Here, the Bangalore pair attracted a total time penalty of two minutes and six seconds to win the event ahead of Chatterjee and Basu. The third Team Tata Motors entry of Rajiv Sarkar and Moulinath Ghosh finished third. Thus, it was another 1-2-3 for Team Tata Motors in the Pro Stock category in this event that ended late on Sunday night.
“It feels great to have won three titles in a row. This is a title we will always cherish due to all the hard work and effort we have put in all through the year in the TSD Championship,” said Chidananda Murthy.
Sujith Kumar said: “Celebration time has come a little early for us and this title is very close to our heart because it is the third in a row. Nevertheless, we will be giving it our best in the two remaining rounds.”
Team Tata Motors’ Sachin Singh and Prakash M clinched second place in the Pro Expert category here and their teammates MD Ganesh Moorthy-T Nagarajan finished third. Singh and Prakash have 78 points, while Moorthy and Nagarajan have 92 points.
Pro Stock: 1. Chidananda Murthy-BS Sujith Kumar (Total penalty time: 0:02:06 minutes, Team Tata Motors); 2. Saurav Chatterjee-Ashoke Kumar Basu (0:02:32, Team Tata Motors); 3. Rajiv Sarkar-Moulinath Ghosh (0:17:00, Team Tata Motors).
Pro Expert: 1. KP Karthik Maruti-Sankar Anand (0:00:35 seconds); 2. Sachin Singh-Prakash M (0:00:41, Team Tata Motors); 3. MD Ganesh Moorthy-T Nagarajan (0:00:49, Team Tata Motors).
Ends/A Tata Motorsport press release