The country’s top rally driver, Gaurav Gill has won praises from his co-competitor by overcoming mechanical failures and a series of punctures before it all ended in a heartbreak for him in the Rally of Turkey.
Going into the final day with a top-five finish firmly in sight, the JK Racing ace underlined his mettle by finishing second in the first stage of the day. He continued in the same vein, taking the third place in the next stage too, demonstrating phenomenal speed and control to post spectacular timings to inch up the leader-board. These results added up to a top-three finish in five out of the nine stages that he had conquered without a hitch. However, in the penultimate stage, the transmission of the car seized, thereby bring the vehicle to a grounding halt. This ended the chances of the vehicle recouping and covering the final stretch of the WRC.
Speaking on the occasion, Gill said, “It was one of the toughest weekends, rather toughest rallies of my life. Right from the beginning, it was difficult to get into a good rhythm because the rally was so slow and twisty, with so many huge rocks and boulders around. Of course I didn't have much previous experience with the car and the setup, making it that much more difficult. The plan was to take one step at a time and it almost paid off. But we were marred by so many issues, including mechanical problems in the car. The good thing is we got some great timings and should keep us in a positive frame for the next round.”
Spread over four days, Gill had to cover a total distance of 988.50kms with 310.10kms earmarked for special stages. More tellingly, every stage was a test for the driver as well as the car, traversing past picturesque locales that could transform into death traps at the tiniest of errors. The Rally of Turkey lived up to its reputation of being the toughest in the world, pushing as many as 11 drivers to the brink and a DNF.