Defending Asia Pacific Rally Champion Gaurav Gill faced a problem with his car’s rear suspension during the race but that did not stop the Team MRF driver from conquering the top spot at the Rally of Malaysia. After crashing out in Australia, this was a strong performance by Gill, finishing over thirteen minutes ahead of Australia’s Mark Pedder, to put himself within ten points’ reach of overall championship leader and teammate Jan Kopecky.
With Czech teammate Jan Kopecky out of the classification with a suspension break on day one, the onus was on Gill to finish and make sure at least one Team MRF car was on top. Gill got off to a wonderful start, winning the day’s first stage, Tai Tak Court House.
Expressing his views on his win, Gill said, “The rear suspension stopped working because of the heat. We took it easy and the priority was to make sure one of the cars finished on top. In the second stage (of the day) we started having the problem. By the third it completely collapsed. Malaysia is all about finishing the rally. It’s the most difficult rally of the season. One of the toughest in the world I would say and the team has done a great job so big thank you to Team MRF for the win today.”
The racing crew will now move to the penultimate rally in Japan (September 26-28). For Kopecky it will be his first rally in Japan. Gill was adamant that strategy will play a big role for the next race.
- Gaurav Gill (Ind) 3:01:23.2s;
- Mark Pedder (Aus) 3:14:25.7s;
- Xu Jun (Chn) 3:14:47.4s;
- Sanjay Takle (Ind) 3:28:44.8s;
- Michael Young (Nzl) 3:35:21.0s.
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