Australia APRC: Gill takes clean sweep of Day 1 stage wins

Team MRF's Gaurav Gill dominated proceedings after Day 1 at the International Rally of Queensland in the second round of Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

Australia APRC: Gill takes clean sweep of Day 1 stage wins

The Indian (co-driver Glenn Macneall) led each of the eight special stages to end with a total time of 1hr13m51.0s ahead of teammate Fabian Kreim (co-driver Frank Christian).

The German driver was 1m49.4s off Gill's total time to end Team MRF 1-2 in the Skoda R5 while Cusco Racing's Mike Young (co-driver Malcolm Read) was third in his Subaru.

"It’s been a good day but quite challenging," said Gill after the day. "The roads are quite slippery [and] it wasn’t easy at all.

"This is the first time I’m driving this car on slippery surfaces and it’s very difficult getting used to what the car is going to do.

“We haven’t found the correct setup but our only saving grace was our tyres. We pushed quite hard in the morning because I had a level of confidence with the car and maintained that rhythm for the rest of the day," he added.

The leading Mitsubishi driver Nathan Quinn (co-driver David Calder) finished fourth ahead of sister car of Atsushi Masumura (co-driver Akiko Nakagawa).

While Gill remained largely unchallenged, Kreim was closely followed by Quinn and Young, the latter even beating the German for second in SS8.

Young took third from Quinn at the end of SS5 as they battled for the final podium place - both separated by a mere 22.4s at the end of Day 1.

Quinn later revealed that his car has been suffering from "intermittent boost issues" because of which he lost time throughout the day.

Mike Beard (co-driver Nigel Walters) were sixth, finishing over 15 minutes behind Gill with Sanjay Takale (co-driver Noriko Takeshita) and Fuyuhiko Takahashi (co-driver Mitsuo Nakamura) in at seventh and eighth respectively.

Smart leads ARC pack

Meanwhile in the Australian Rally Championship, Ryan Smart (co-driver John Allen) driving the Mitsubishi finished on top, 21.7s ahead of Harry Bates (co-driver John McCarthy) in the Toyota.

Quinn, who is primarily competing in the APRC but also eligible for ARC awards, finished third while the leading Subaru of Tom Wilde (co-driver Sam Hill) was fourth.

Simon Evans (co-driver Ben Searcy) led the pack until SS3 but lost the lead to Smart who maintained the position until SS8.

Evans eventually finished sixth, behind Molly Taylor (co-driver Bill Hayes) at the end of the first day of running in Queensland.

APRC Day 1 Standings:

PosDriverCarTime/Gap
1

 Gaurav Gill

 Glenn Macneall

Skoda 1hr13m51.0s
2

 Fabian Kreim

 Frank Christian

Skoda 1m49.4s
3

 Mike Young

 Malcolm Read

Subaru 2m24.5s
4

 Nathan Quinn

 David Calder

Mitsubishi 2m56.9s
5

 Atsushi Masumura

 Akiko Nakagawa

Mitsubishi 9m19.6s
6

 Mike Beard

 Nigel Walters

Subaru 15m50.2s
7

 Sanjay Takale

 Noriko Takeshita

Subaru 15m56.4s
8

 Fuyuhiko Takahashi

 Mitsuo Nakamura

Subaru 16m18.7s
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