The Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) witnessed a four-out-of-four victory for Indian rally driver Gaurav Gill at the Hokkaido Rally. With his co-driver, Belgium’s Stephane Prevot, Gill clinched a win ahead of his teammate Fabian Kreim, who finished second and Cusco Racing’s Michael Young made it to third.
The 34-year-old driver was leading at the end of day one, capitalising further on it, he stormed through the last six stages to seal off his 13th win in the championship since he made his debut in 2007. Young had a troubling first day with a tyre puncture, while the German driver Fabian Kreim with co-driver Frank Christian were hindered by the lack of grip and a puncture too.
After winning all three of previous races in New Zealand, Australia, and China respectively, this victory at Japan puts Gill at the top of the table with 146 points and hence giving him a good chance of winning this year’s championship. Gill’s teammate Fabian Kreim follows second with 104 points. Gill has previously won the 2013 championship.
Commenting on the victory, Gill said, "It’s great to win, Four out of four is awesome. Everything worked well. The tyres worked well since Saturday when it was wet on the tarmac and I have to thank the team for the good setup. It was a very difficult rally because of weather conditions constantly changing. Mornings are all wet, afternoon became all dry, then become pretty rough, so pretty difficult but I’m happy."
One interesting fact to be noted is that the two Skoda Fabia R5’s driven by Gill and Kreim won all 17 stages of Rally Hokkaido, making the weekend even more special for the team.
The next event on the APRC calendar is the Malaysian Rally to be held on 29-30 October in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.