The tricky terrain around Johor Bahru lived up to its billing with four out of five drivers either crashing or pulling out due to various reasons after the morning session in the Malayasian leg of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship here on Saturday.
Team MRF’s Gaurav Gill was comfortably leading after two rounds before crashing out in the third, while teammate Esapekka Lappi of Finland had to pull out after the morning session due to a problem in the engine.
The Finn will be out of action on Sunday but the Race Torque engineers have managed to rectify the problem in Gill's car.
Meanwhile, the only driver to finish all stages was Michael Young of New Zealand. He just toured around from the fifth to the eighth stage in the afternoon.
Gill was obviously disappointed about the crash but expressed hope of winning seven points on Sunday and take the lead.
“Our pace note had an error on the third stage. During recon, we drove in a convoy and our pace note apparently had an error and it didn't register correctly on a particular turn and I went off the road and drove over the embankment leading to radiator damage.
“I could have driven and completed the stage but we chose not to and damage the car further. But I will definitely be driving tomorrow. We have seven points up for grabs and I think I will be able to take it by winning it.”
“We knew that we could seal it if we drove fast in the first stage and we pushed ourselves hard. We ended up with a lead of more than a minute. After that we decided to take it easy considering that it was such a huge lead,” said Gill.
The Finn will be more than ‘happy’ of not competing on Sunday as he has been complaining about the heat.
On Friday, Gill finished first in the 2.5 kilometre stage, followed by Lappi and Young.
For Sunday's action, only two drivers will start as there was no official word about the other drivers from the organisers.