MRF-backed Indian prodigy Gaurav Gill is chasing his team-mate Pontus Tidemand by 43 points after four of the six rounds of FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship. The duo from Team MRF will be battling it out again at the Rally Hokkaido this weekend.
The rally will start on Friday with the ceremonial start followed by the loop of 960m super special stage. The Rally Hokkaido is said to be the most punishing round in the APRC calender. It comprises of 20 special stages spread across the total distance of 225.35 km apart from the transportation distance of 735.92 km.
Tidemand and his co-driver Emil Axelsson are presently leading the championship with 147 points while Gaurav Gill and his Co-Driver Glenn Macneall are trailing them with 104 points. Both Tidemand and Gill are driving the factory-backed Skoda Fabia S2000.
Delhi-based Gaurav Gill has faced a lot of ups and downs in the 2015 season. He managed to bag the first position in New Calendonia and 2 podium finishes in New Zealand and Malaysia but the DNF in Australia cost him a lot of points. Now, with only two rounds and 78 points up for grabs, all the competitors will be pushing hard to improve their championship standing.
After the reconnaissance run of the stage on Thursday, Gaurav Gill said, “It is going to be a very fast rally for sure. The stages are much wider than last time and there are a few new stages too. I will do my best to win the event though I would have been happier with some testing prior to this event.”
Tidemand said, “Of course it feels great to come to Japan as the championship leader. But each rally comes with a new challenge, especially for me as I do all these events for the first time and never really know what to expect. We are ready to fight for a great result and hopefully it will be a close and exciting race.”