Rallyists from Tricity have performed well at the recently concluded SJOBA (St Johns Old Boys Association) Rally,the 25th edition of the event.
Winning the top honours in the TSD (time-speed-distance) format were Sunish Kumar and his navigator,Dhiraj Arora. Sunish is a contractor and a resident of Sector 21 in Panchkula. Arora,owner of Trenz Fashion Jewellery stores,said rallying is his passion,away from the shimmer and bling at work.
We were able to complete the rally with a cumulative timing way ahead of other competitors. What made our win special was that we were up against some of the best navigators of south India. Every competitive leg required different set of skills to finish,and we came up tops, he said.
The winners crown in the Xtreme category went to Manalis Suresh Rana,a champion marathon rallyist whom few have been able to take on. Chandigarh rallyist Harpreet Bawa,who has won titles in the Xtreme category at various motorsport events,ranked third in the SJOBA rally. The participants in the rally had driven up to Koti,ahead of Shimla for the event,and back to the city. Gulpreet Aulakh and his wife Nidhi,residents of Sector 21,ranked third in the TSD category at the rally. Gulpreet,who is otherwise an Xtreme rallyist,said he found it tough driving within the speed limit for the TSD format. Having my wife as the navigator helped. Every time I tended to speed up,she threatened to throw the roadbook out of the window and leave me to cope on my own, he laughed.
Nidhi Aulakh admitted that she was now brushing up her navigating skills. The couple had ranked fifth at the same event last year. Sector 27 resident Navpreet Kaur won the prize in the all-women category at the SJOBA rally. Navpreet,who works at Punjabi University in Patiala,was the navigator for Garima Daga of Noida. This was her first rallying event. Navpreet said she has always been fond of motorsport. I was a Marshall at Formula 1. My friends are into rallying and off-roading. This was my first experience of competitive rallying,and Im hooked, she said.