Team MRF had a good outing at the Asia Pacific Rally championship after eleven stages were completed here on Saturday.
Gaurav Gill pressed hard on the gas to take a five second lead over his teammate Katsuhiko Taguchi. Close on Taguchi?s heel is Hiroshi Yanagisawa of Cusco racing about eight seconds behind.
This sets up an intriguing last day with nothing much separating the three front runners.
Proton team though had a tough outing as both Chris Atkinson, in the fifth stage and Alistar McRae, in the sixth stage retired due to engine problem. It means that that the Proton challenge has almost ended.
Gill, however, would want to forget the last two stages where he lost valuable time allowing Taguchi to catch up with him.
Gill, who had a healthy lead of 28 seconds, lost a good deal of time at stage 10 and 11.
?My car?s left drive shaft gave way in the 10th stage which caused imbalance and lost me a lot of time. I was practically driving only on the rear wheels.?
Gill lost 15 seconds in the 10th stage and 7 in the 11th even as Taguchi kept chipping away at the lead. The problem has however, been rectified and Gill would be hoping to rev it up on Sunday.
Gill gained considerable ground on the picturesque Rikubetsu forest stage. ?Rikubetsu was pretty good, my fun Mickey Mouse stage.? Gill said indicating the ease with which he completed the stage. Gill had by then taken a lead of about 10 seconds.
Taguchi, who had a good run winning most of the stages, had a puncture which robbed him of time.
?The morning wasn?t bad I had a puncture in the previous stage and I lost some time. Overall it was good,? said Taguchi. And at the end of the day he did enough to challenge Gill and remained in hunt for the title.