Shimoga, July 27 (IANS) The Erode pair of Ganesh Moorthy and navigator T. Nagarajan snatched the overall lead by topping the SUV Open category with a penalty time of one minute, 29 seconds at the end of Leg 2 here Saturday, as competition intensified in the Mahindra Monsoon Challenge in association with Apollo Tyres.
Moorthy and Nagarajan, who were lying second after Leg 1 Friday, moved up three spots to occupy the first place, just eight seconds ahead of Kolkata's Sudip Kumar Ghosh and Arindam Ghosh while the Bangalore-Pune tandem of Umakanth Alva and Mohamed Musthafa were placed third with a penalty of one minute, 39 seconds.
Last year's winners, Karthick Maruthi and Sankar Anand, also from Erode, fared better in the second leg to finish fourth at 01:40 while National TSD Rally champions, Satish Gopalkrishnan and Savera D'Souza, the husband-wife pair from Bangalore, remained eighth overall at 02:15.
Meanwhile, in the SUV OE category, Kolkata's Saurav Chatterjee and Ashoke Kumar Basu jumped two spots to move from third to first with a 02:57 penalty, ahead of city-mates Subir Roy and Nirav Mehta (03:08) and Coimbatore's T Sreenisvan and N Sukumaran (06:15).
Philip Baklin and David Sharon eased past overnight leaders Wilson Padayatil and Kuriakose Elias Paarel to occupy the top spot in the Car OE category with just 10 seconds separating the two pairs.
The 34 competitors covered a distance of 276 kms from Mangalore to Shimoga, braving heavy rains and crater-filled secondary roads besides the notorious Charmadi Ghats and they head to Goa for the third and concluding leg on Sunday.
Provisional classification (after Leg 2):
SUV Open: MD Ganesh Moorthy/T Nagarajan 1 (1 min, 29 secs); Sudip Kumar Ghosh/Arindam Ghosh 2 (01:37); Umakanth Alva / Mohamed Musthafa 3 (01:39).
SUV OE: Saurav Chatterjee/Ashoke Kumar Basu 1 (02:57); Subir Roy/Nirav Mehta 2 (03:08); T Sreenivasan/N Sukumaran 3 (06:15).
Car OE: Philip Baklin/David Sharon 1 (03:55); Wilson Padayatil/Kuriakose Elias Paarel 2 (04:05); S Gopalakrishnan/V Sekar 3 (06:10).
Corporate: Rajpal Navalkar/Sagar M 1 (04:31); Sudhindra Hebbar TA/Arun SSB 2 (05:27); Subhash Chandra/Umashankar 3 (05:00:11).
Amateur: Alfred Raymond A/Ram Kumar N 1 (10:15); Harsha K Hiriyal/Prashanth BS 2 (2hrs, 10 mins, 10 secs); RS Naresh Kumar/Shanmugasundaram T 3 (02:44:38).
All Ladies: Cheshta Sood/Pratima 1 (01:03:10). Couple: Garima Avtar/Dhiraj Arora 1 (02:32).