Motorsport

For Gill, multiple challenges remain

Gaurav Gill.  

Team MRF’s Gaurav Gill turned 35 on Friday. India’s top rally driver had gifted himself a grand birthday present nearly a month ago when he regained the Asia Pacific Rally Championship after victory in the Malaysian leg.

Gill had previously won the APRC in 2013 and this year he has won all five rallies run so far. If Gill goes on to win the final round — the Coffee Day India Rally which begins here on Friday — it will be the icing on the cake.

His tally of 192 points is far above Team MRF’s Fabian Kreim’s 138, his nearest competitor. Keeping the motivation going when the high-stakes have already been won is a challenge. For Gill, multiple challenges remain.

With the APRC returning as a full event to India after more than a decade — the last time was in the 2003 and 2004 seasons — it would present Gill a chance to win a premier international competition in front of a home crowd. He even said as much during an interaction with The Hindu a couple of days ago.

However, a bigger challenge would be in emulating Cody Crocker’s achievements. The Australian, who won four years in a row from 2006 to 2009, also did it in style.

In 2006 it was six wins in seven rounds (five-in-a-row), in 2007, five of seven (four-in-a-row), in 2008 four of seven and in 2009 Crocker had a run of six-in-a-row in a seven-round season.

If Gill does take the winner’s spot on the podium on Monday, then he would be the first to complete a sweep of all the rounds in the APRC.

The Coffee Day India Rally, organised by the Motorsports Club of Chikkamagaluru, also doubles up as Round-4 of the MRF-FMSCI Indian Rally Championship.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 8:47:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/motorsport/For-Gill-multiple-challenges-remain/article16747451.ece

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