Gaurav Gill came on top after a close fight with his team mate till the very end to win International Rally Of Whangarei, first round of APRC. Fabien Kreim gave Gaurav Gill run for his money, as the duo were neck in neck with stage times. Finally experience of Gill showed evident as he won comfortably by over 30 seconds. Fabien Kreim had to settle for second, impressive result as it was his first gravel outing. Michael Young took third as he won strings of stages today and was very happy to finish in podium after his opening day problems.
Gaurav Gill was 4 seconds behind Kreim as he started leg three. But he pushed hard to catch up his team mate and eventually won by a comfortable margin. Happy with his victory Gill said, "It’s a great result for me and for the team. We like this rally and it always teaches you a lot, and today we managed to push a bit harder and got the desired result. "Although I’m still learning the set up of the car and we haven’t quite found the perfect setup. We still had a few small issues but the team fixed them quickly which was great. And of course driving this car wasn’t very easy to start with because I haven’t driven at all for seven months. It’s a big challenge but I wanted to make the most of it so we took it step by step."
Fabien Kreim was extremely happy to finish second as it was his first gravel rally. A very elated Kreim said, "This is great! Unbelievable! It is a really nice feeling and I think for the first time on gravel, I found a very good speed today. On the last stage it was raining a lot and very slippery on the tarmac section. But I really enjoy it. "The Skoda was very good. Many thanks to the team, Team MRF and Skoda Motorsport for the perfect car. It worked very well and I look forward to the next event."
Local star Michael Young put up a spectacular drive to take podium after his electrical issues on day one. Michael Young said, "I’m pretty happy with that [third place] after Friday night and the disappointment of a 14 minute penalty. I think we showed pace this weekend and we won quite a few stages outright in both the APRC and NZRC [New Zealand Rally Championship]." "Obviously the penalty was hard to swallow because we might have finished further up the podium but I know I’ve done my job and I’ve been driving quick all weekend. We will be back again to fight for another podium, and Australia is always a round I enjoy."
Sanjay Takale driving a Cusco Subaru Impreza faced furthur issues and was forced to retire this morning. Japanese driver Makoto Kawahara finished fourth in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII.
It was a close battle for victory. Next round of APRC takes us to Australia. Keep up with us by subscribing to our news. Until then Happy Rallying!