India APRC: Gill sounds out warning to rivals
Team MRF’s Gaurav Gill (co-driver Stephane Prevot) gave an indication of things to come by winning the 2.1Km Super Special Stage of the Coffee Day India Rally 2017 on Friday.
The Delhi-based driver timed a total of 2m17.7s in the SSS, while Veiby was 2m17.9s. Both are driving the Skoda Fabia R5 car. Third was India’s PG Abhilash (Srikanth Gowda) with a time of 2m30.5s, driving a Subaru Impreza WRX Sti.
The battle lines are drawn in this final round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship as Gill is leading the championship narrowly over his teammate Ole-Christian Veiby (Stig Rune Skjarmoen).
With the SSS done, the remaining 15 Special Stages that will be run on Saturday and Sunday will be bitterly fought. A total of 11 stages will be run on Saturday and the remaining on Sunday.
After the shakedown in the morning, Gill said: “I am getting into the car after six weeks. This is a difficult rally and the terrain has a lot of corners and it can be technical.
“We have changed the setup after the Japan round and we had a good outing here today. We felt comfortable and I am happy with the pace,” he added.
Commenting on the stages, Gill said: “The stages are a lot more open and wider as compared to last year and they are faster as well. The important thing is that one cannot afford to make any mistakes.”
Veiby said: “The recce was good and we are getting adjusted to the stages. It was a good feeling in the car and our pace was good.
“However, the shakedown does not tell so much and we are ready for the rally.
“This is a new experience in Chikmagalur. It is a little like Malaysia, but special,” he added.
In the MRF FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship that is being run concurrently, Younis Ilyas (Harish Kumar) was the quickest overall (2m35.7s) followed by Arjun Rao (Satish Rajagopal) and Amittrajit Ghosh (Ashwin Naik) of Team Mahindra Adventure.
Loeb's first test in the rebuilt Peugeot 306 Maxi
India APRC: Gill holds sway in Chikmagalur