JODHPUR 16th November 2008: For the third successive outing, one man proved a class above the rest of the field in the Gulf Cup Dirt Track Championship. Bangalore’s C S Santosh showed that his exploits in the first two legs of the Sportscraft-organized challenge for two-wheelers was no fluke as he won four classes in the third leg at Jodhpur on Sunday, November 16.
The TVS Racing rider had the crowd at Jodhpur watching in awe as he went about the motions on a tricky, winding dirt course to win both races in the Indian Expert Class Group A foreign motorcycles up to 260cc and both in the Indian Expert classes Group B motorcycles upto 260cc. He was simply unstoppable once he got out off the gates. Baroda’s Veer Patel challenged him for the early part in the first race of the day – the Indian Expert Class Group A foreign motorcycles upto 260cc — but was left watching him from behind thereafter while finishing second, ahead of teammate K P Arvind.
Arvind has been Santosh’s closest rival in the earlier legs in Mangalore and Pune and here too in Jodhpur he was in hot pursuit. But all he could manage was, besides a third place in the opening race, second places in the second race of the Indian Expert classes Group A motorcycles upto 260cc and first race in the Indian Expert classes Group B motorcycles upto 260cc.
149 entries were received for the event which saw the country’s best motorcycle riders go through a challenge test of dirt track racing after the event was flagged off by H.H. Shree Gaj Singhji.
As dirt track racing is all about high speed, the riders raced round a serpentine gravel-laden track, which had slush in some areas. Many took a tumble or two, or skid, particularly around the sharp bends, as they looked to generate speed. But all showed the tenacity of top class riders.
If Santosh was the king in the glamour classes, Pune’s Eshan Lokhande ruled the roost in the both the classes in the Private Expert Class Group A for foreign motorcycles upto 260 cc 2 & 4 stroke.
In the first race of the category, he was challenged all the way by Mumbai’s Sarosh Mulla, who finished second and just ahead of third-placed Abhishek Mishra of of Jaipur. But in the second race, it was Lokhande all the way, with Mishra placing second and Pune’s Fabio Chandy taking third place.
Snehal Chauhan of Pune won the two races in the Private Expert Class Group B motorcycles upto 260 cc. Abhishek Mishra finished second in both races, with Amul Satpute taking third place in one race and Bhopal’s Syed Asif Ali placing third in the other.
Bangalore Sandeep Kotegar of TVS Racing also finished with a rich haul, winning three races. He emerged the best rider in Novice class for Group C bikes 165cc 2-stroke, 130cc 4-stroke, bikes upto 165cc 4-stroke.
In the first category for novices riders, Kotegar placed ahead of Jaipur’s Jes David and and Nagpur’s Sameer Chaudhary in that order. Comibatore’s Prakash R was second, ahead of Mumbai’s Jagjit Singh, in the category for 1330cc, but came third, behind Bangalore’s Dilip K in the class for 160cc.
Jes David drew, perhaps, the loudest applause while emerging the best local rider. He not only placed second in the novice class for Group C bikes 165cc, but also displayed good riding skills while bagging the local classes for Group C motorcycles upto 160 cc 2 and 4 strokes.
He did well to overcome a strong challenge from Bhallaram Suthar and Sandeep Parihar, who finished second and third respectively in the class for motorcycles upto 165 cc 4 stroke.
Shri Rajeev Dascot, I G Police, Jodhpur, witnessed the races and gave away the prizes.
The event, sponsored by Gulf Oil Corporation Ltd, and organized by Sportscraft Mumbai in association with JAAR, was applauded not only by the participants, but also spectators.
All in all, it was an event to remember for two-wheeler riders of Jodhpur. Most experienced driving in competition for the first time, yet they had nothing to complain about the trying conditions. If anything, there was only appreciation.