MRF will now participate in the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship 2012 with two Skoda Fabia S-2000 cars, instead of the Mitsubishi four-wheel-drive that has been the vehicle of choice for the last 10 years.

The switch will make Team MRF more competitive against the reigning champion Proton S-2000 cars, which were competing with an advantage over the unmodified Mitsubishi Evo X cars over the last few years.

Immense pressure

Skoda won the SWRC and the International Rally Challenge Championships last year and is likely to put the Proton development team under immense pressure.

The change in car would give Gaurav Gill another chance to win the APRC title which he narrowly lost to his teammate Taguchi in 2010. No Indian has ever won an FIA international rally title before.