Ashima Duggal wins Divas on Wheels rally

Chennai: Fast-improving rallyists Ashima Duggal and navigator Amrita Shergill rode on their opening day’s advantage to capture the challenging Divas on Wheels all-women’s car rally here on Saturday evening.

Ashima and Amrita had a rough second and final day, picking up 3 minutes and 28 seconds penalty points in their run from Chikmagaluru to Coorg. But their near faultless driving on Friday that saw them collect only 2 minutes and 53 seconds penalty ensured that they were not toppled from the top place.

Prafulla KS (with Sandhya Chandrashekar) had the best day, garnering only 1 minutes 48 seconds to claim the first runners’-up position. They had amassed 7 minutes and 36 seconds on Day 1 which prevented them from taking the coveted prize.

Shobha Ravi (with Nilofer Ibrahim) clinched the third place with an overall penalty of 13 minutes and 08 seconds. Ashima and Amrita, who like to call themselves the underdogs, conceded the second day was much tougher, with the self TCs (Time Controls) proving to be a big challenge. “It was a very tough day and we know we made quite a few mistakes,” Ashima said.

“We were tired of finishing number two,” Amrita said, pointing out that they had finished behind the winners in 5 out of their last 7 rallies. “But then, we tasted success and now our goal is to finish first each time,” she said.

The route from Chikmagaluru to Coorg involved steep climbs, numerous twists and turns and hairpin bends, forcing the teams (driver and navigator) to be extra cautious.

Results: 1. Ashima Duggal and Amrita Shergill 6 minutes 21 seconds penalty points, 2. Prafulla K.S. and Sandhya Chandrashekhar (7.59), 3. Shobha Ravi and Nilofer Ibrahim (13.08).

NT Bureau