PHOTO: Germany's Fabian Kreim finished second for Skoda in his first-ever gravel rally (Geoff Ridder pic)
INDIA’S Gaurav Gill won the 2016 International Rally of Whangarei, completing a journey of 274.9 km in the MRF Tyres ŠKODA Fabia R5 car to take the lead in the 2016 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship today.
After six rain-dampened stages on the final day, Gill won by 30.4 sec over German teammate Fabian Kreim, with New Zealand’s Michael Young third in a Subaru.
MRF Skoda teammates Fabian Kreim of Germany and Gaurav Gill of India are set to fight a close battle to the finish of the International Rally of Whangarei after completing today’s stages just 4.6 seconds apart.
Kreim started day two of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship opening round - the series continues at the International Rally of Queensland on 17-19 June - in first place before four straight stage wins put his teammate in front by more than a minute.
GERMANY’S Fabian Kreim took the lead after two short super special stages that opened the International Rally of Whangarei in New Zealand tonight.
With little more one second separating first-placed Kreim from Team MRF teammate Gaurav Gill in second, and Scott Pedder in third, the battle for top honours promises to be hotly contested during tomorrow’s eight stages of the 2016 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship opening round.
SIMON Evans has won the 2016 Quit Forest Rally, the opening round of the Kumho Tyre Australian Rally Championship® in Nannup, Western Australia.
The win wasn’t a walk in the park for the four-time champion and co-driver Ben Searcy, who were pushed all the way by young gun Harry Bates and his co-driver John McCarthy.
Evans/Searcy and Bates/McCarthy finished the event with the same points based on their positions in both Heat One and Heat Two; however, a bonus point awarded Evans/Searcy for recording the most stage wins was enough to ensure the event victory.
The battle between the veteran Evans, 43, and tyro Bates, 20, along with other leading pilots including Justin Dowel, Molly Taylor, Mark Pedder and Adrian Coppin, will continue at the International Rally of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast on 17-19 June. Several of the Australian crews are expected also to contest the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship second round in Queensland, adding some Australia vs The Rest spice to the weekend.
MOLLY Taylor has completed more than 250 kilometres’ testing in Tasmania to prepare for her debut in the Subaru do™ Motorsport Impreza WRX STI next week.
She reported the factory-supported Subaru prepared by Les Walkden Rallying (LWR) ran faultlessly in the gravel test near Launceston and is ready for the Quit Forest Rally in Western Australia on 22-24 April. She will contest the International Rally of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast on 17-19 June.