He still has that crazy streak running in him, something that sees him take huge risks, but Gaurav Gill, the country’s best rally driver ever, believes he is a changed man now.
“With age and with time, my driving has become more precise now, that is what is required at this level of driving,” said Gill, the country’s first Asia Pacific rally champion, in a chat with The Hindu at the scenic Rajah Island, near Chavakkad.
“We don’t get faster, we get more precise. So, when you’re more precise, you’re able to do the same thing, at the same time, at every corner throughout the rally stages. That’s very important. Not to have ten corners right and three corners wrong, that’s how you grow up in this sport.”
So, does that mean that the ‘craziness’ has gone out from his driving?
“You need to be crazy as well. If you’re not crazy, you can’t be fast. You have to be scared at the same time, if you’re not scared, you are being stupid. So, these are all small, small things in rallying that attributes to a good drive,” said the 32-year-old.
Gill is the APRC series leader after his Rally of Whangarei triumph in New Zealand last month and one thought that the champion would be under less pressure while driving in the event now.
“No, it’s a bigger challenge because people expect the moon from you. That means you’re always on your toes and you’ve got do it in your own style,” revealed Gill. “Because, you are a champion now and they expect a lot from a champion. So, it’s an even bigger task.”
Gill had plans to drive in the newly-introduced World Rally Championship-2 last year but it didn’t work out in the end.
“We tried to race in the WRC last year but the car was still in the container and the logistics didn’t work out and we couldn’t make it on time. But we are hopeful, we should be able to drive next year,” said the star who drives for MRF Tyres banner in the APRC.
But despite the delay, and the uncertainty, Gill made it clear that he was not getting impatient.
“I’m not getting impatient, am thankful to my sponsors, at least I’m getting to drive the best cars in the world and get to beat some of the best drivers in the world, so that is good.”
However Gill, who is driving a factory-backed Skoda from the Czech car-maker, feels that his return to the WRC would be a lot easier and faster if he gets a big push from Skoda India.