Sudip and Arindam win 4th Himalayan drive
Kolkata duo of Sudip and Arindam Ghosh emerged champions in the 4th edition of the JK Tyre Himalyan Drive, country's only international TSD Cross-Country Rally, which also covered Bhutan.
Sudip and Arindham ended with 568 penalty seconds, eight less than second-place finishers Jogendra Kumar Jaiswal and Prasenjit Roy.
There was a tough fight for the third and fourth rankers.
Pratik Sirkar and Debasish Ghosh who had a final score of 832 penalty seconds finished third while Rajiv Sarkar and Chandu Sekhar followed them 836 penalty seconds.
Though the champions Sudip and Arindam had built a sizeable lead over their closest rivals on the first two days of the five-day rally, they slipped in the last three days with many more penalty points than the Jaiswal-Roy duo.
It was only the lead they established in the first two days that saw them through to finish on top. The fortunes of Rajiv and Chandu kept fluctuating throughout the rally. They were in second position at the end of Day 1 but slipped to third rank on Day 2, sank to fourth on the next two days, but did better on the last leg to ascend to the third position.
However, their final scores placed them in the fourth position overall.
The rally had started from Siliguri s City Center on February 28 and culminated at the same venue on Thursday.
The rally route covered the forests, tea gardens and riverbeds of North Bengal and the Duars, narrow roads skirting the precipitous mountain slopes of the eastern Himalayas, the picturesque Paro Valley in Bhutan, a high mountain pass and the verdant, fog-enveloped Darjeeling Hills.
“The rally was tough and challenging, however, driving at such a high altitude and difficult terrain was equally thrilling. My driving mettle was put to severe test. Winning this rally brings to me a tremendous sense of achievement,” Sudip said. The winners were awarded prize money of Rs 1 lakh.