|JAPAN WIN BOOSTS GILL APRC LEAD|
|Tuesday, 27 September 2016 00:53|
GAURAV Gill extended his lead in the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) at Rally Hokkaido in Japan last weekend, taking his fourth consecutive win in his Team MRF Skoda Fabia R5.
After building a substantial lead against his rivals on Saturday, Gill continued his charge yesteray to finish almost two minutes ahead of his young German teammate Fabian Kreim, even though the young German driver won several stages throughout the weekend.
“It’s great to win. Four out of four is awesome,” said Gill, who won the International Rally of Queensland in June.
“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.”
Kreim continued to impress by taking his third podium finish this season and now sits second in the championship.
“I think we got a lot of experience especially on these very demanding roads with very fast parts and very big ruts. All of the ruts have a lot of loose gravel and compared to the other events, it’s completely new to us and it’s very good for us,” he said.
Rounding out the podium in third place was New Zealander Mike Young, whose main focus was bringing home a podium for his Japanese team Cusco Racing.
“We’re happy. I guess we were the best of the Group N cars so it’s really good for our team,” Young said.
“We pushed hard when we could and backed off when it was a bit rough. We had a few issues with punctures and stuff but it’s a good result for Cusco and EZY Racing.”
The two Skodas driven by Gill and Kreim won all 17 stages of Rally Hokkaido.
The next event on the APRC calendar is the Malaysian Rally, scheduled for 29-30 October in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.