Sports

Nagaland produces its first winner in National Car Rally

Nagaland produces its first winner in National Car Rally
Lanusanen Pongener
DIMAPUR, DEC 23 (NPN) | Publish Date: 12/23/2020 10:43:07 AM IST

Lanusanen Pongener created history by winning a round in the Champions Yacht Club MRF Indian National Rally Championship in Itanagar near Chimpu and Hollangi, on December 20. 

By winning the championship, Lanusanen a member of Team Anumolu, powered by MRF became the first Naga to earn the honours in the highly-competitive 33-year history of the National Championship.  He partnered with navigator Lokaranjan.

Driving a Honda City, shod on specially prepared MRF tyres, the talented driver, had a new navigator Lokaranjan HJ from Bengaluru, calling his pace notes and miraculously turned the tables in two-day National event. Lanusanen represented his home club Amam in Nagaland events and also associated with NAMSA, the Nagaland Adventure and Motor Sports Club.

Lanu, as he is popularly known in South India, was excluded because of an engine which is older than 15 years and did not get a fitness certificate. However, they relaxed the rules and allowed him to take part, and he beat most of the biggies and had bagged the INRC4 class.

“The people of Nagaland and all the North East have many talents and champions but we are not included in the mainstream. Time has come to build bridges and change it by showcasing huge talents and skills. I feel very proud to win this round despite all the confusion, anger and frustration my co-driver made me relax and taught me how to be patient. I thank Champions Yacht Club for identifying me as potential talent, MRF for specialised tarmac tyres and specially Anumolu Ramakrishna, my sponsor, who blindly believed in my capabilities even though we never met. I am eager to meet him in the next round in Bengaluru or Hampi,” said Lanu.

Nagaland Adventure and Motor Sports Association president Ruguo Desmo Kesiezie said, “Lanu is the first from our state to take part in the National Rally events. Though we have local rallies, they are not part of the nationals. We are proud of his achievement and hope to produce many more drivers from the state.”

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