Maxperience Rally 2019, the round 3 of Indian National Rally Championship has been called off due to untoward incidents on Day 1. Team Mahindra Adventure’s Super XUV 300, piloted by ace rally driver Gaurav Gill collided with a motorcycle, leaving three people dead. The incident happened about 150 meters from the finish of the stage 1. The victims, a family of three, including a minor died on the spot as the result of the impact. Reportedly, the trio were not wearing helmets.
Gaurav Gill and his co-driver Musa Sheriff, whose car was 1st on the stage was taking a sharp left turn at about 140 km/h. Within 5-10 meters, they came into contact with the motorcycle which was right on the middle of the road. Gaurav Gill tried his best to stop the car, but could barely do anything because of the speed.
The rally organizer alleged that despite repeated warnings by Rally marshals, the motorcycle forcefully entered into a barricaded area and onto the track, while the rally stage was still green. They added, “Spotting the motorcycle was near impossible as the car emerged from a sharp turn.”
Vamsi Merla, the promoter of the INRC Rally said, “The organisers had done their level best to ensure safety measures. They went to the villages and asked the people well in advance not to venture into the stages. They had got the necessary permission and clearance for the rally and this was quite unfortunate. I wish and pray it never happens again. This is a black day in Indian motorsports,” he added.
“It was an unfortunate incident that took place despite all the safety measures being in place,” J Prithiviraj, President of FMSCI, who is also the Clerk Of the Course of the rally, said. “We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family. The entire motorsports fraternity stands with them in their grief,” he added. Gaurav gill is being treated for injuries and respiratory problems sustained as the result of the crash. He is kept under observation but is out of danger. Co-driver Musa Sheriff is stable, but has sustained minor injuries.
A Dangerous Sport
Though motorsport has become safe over time, it is incidents like this that reminds us of inherent dangers. Despite all the safety measures put in place by the organizers, anything untoward can happen. The onus of ensuring safety is always on oneself – be it spectators or participants.
While on the road, always wear a helmet or buckle up your seat belt, because driving is the most dangerous thing we do on a daily basis and things can change in a blink of an eye.