DHARAM Pandya doesn’t regret a 10-minute penalty that denied him Stado Mzizima Rally title, but confessed the loss was a big blow to his campaign for the championship.
Pandya who was navigated by Awadh Bafadhil in Mitsubishi Evo 9, lead almost all sections before he was slapped a 10-minute penalty for booking early just a few kilometers to the podium finish.
“My car behaved well on water lodged routes around Bagamoyo and Msata, It was fast, powerful and raced ahead of the rest in all but one sections,” said Pandya who promised a better and more cautious approach in Tanga, the venue of the fourth round of this year’s National Rally Championship in early July.
Pandya who finished fourth overall after after clocking 1 hour, 03 minutes and 37 seconds could have won the rally by beating the 0: 55:47 time posted by the event’s winner, Randeep Birdi. “If it were not for the penalty I cold have clocked 0: 53: 37 and finish two minutes ahead of the winner,” he said.
Pandya said he doesn’t regret much for the loss as long as there four other rounds of this year’s National Rally Championship(NRC). Adding, he said he could have posted 55 points if it were not for the penalty.
After finishing fourth, Pandya is now placed third in the championship race with 42 points.
Arusha’s Gerald Miller is still ahead of the rest with 68 points while secondplaced Birdi has carved 43 points following their last week victory in Bagamoyo. He won stages seven stages out of the nine- stage race.
“I don’t know how it happened, but it just happed and we lost 10 minutes,” said Pandya.