2018 INRC overall champion set to be crowned at Popular Rally

Kochi, Dec 13 (IANS): The 2018 Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) is set for an exciting winner-takes-all finish, with Keralas iconic Popular Rally, the fifth and final round of the championship, emerging as the stage for the grand showdown.

Mahindra Adventure's two-time INRC champion Amittrajit Ghosh comes into the last round with the highest points (79) but will still start behind his teammate and three-time APRC champion Gaurav Gill.

Gill, in fact, will not only begin on pole position but also as the favourite, given his aggressive style of driving. He has 62 points while Ghosh, with 61 points, will be right in his tail.

Ghosh, the European Rally Championship driver, will also fancy his chances, especially two very good rounds in the INRC.

Both will, however, be wary of Arka Motorsports' Karna Kadur, who is not too far behind with 55 points. The former INRC champion is competing in the INRC 2 category but has shown the speed and desire to topple his fancied opponents. He can take his second title if he wins the Popular Rally and Gill finishes third or lower.

Kerala is hosting the INRC for the first time since 2010 which is doubling up as the Popular Rally. It is in its 24th edition, having made a grand comeback last year after running it successfully for 22 years before a brief hiatus.

Most of the country's other top drivers, including Dean Mascarenhas, Vikram Rao and Rahul Kanthraj, will line up to get their hands on the silverware in various categories as the curtain comes down on the 2018 INRC.

Kerala will be well represented too, led by Dr Bikku Babu, the National Autocross Champion, along with the rising stars and INRC regulars like Younus Ilyas, Jacob K J, Fabid Ahmer, Nibu Sayed and Noufal Sayed.