Gaurav Gill’s titles hopes took a major blow when he retired from the the third round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in Queensland on Sunday, having led the rally overnight from MRF teammate Pontus Tidemand.
Gill and Tidemand were neck-and-neck until the beginning of 12th stage - both having won six stages apiece - until a string of problems derailed Gill’s campaign. A differential problem in stage 13 was followed by a puncture in stage 15, putting him 28 seconds behind in the overall classification.
Before Gill could fight back, an engine problem cropped up in stage 16, putting him out of the rally.
“It was a shame that we couldn’t finish the rally,’’ Gill was quoted at the end of Rally of Queensland. “We really had good pace, but it seems luck was not on my side today. First, I had a puncture, which cost a lot of time and then the engine gave in.”
With Gill out of the equation, Tideman cruised to his second win of the season. He now leads the APRC championship with 108 points, with Gill trailing by 24 points in second.
“Obviously, I am very happy to win here. It was a good fight and it’s a shame it ended in retirement [for Gill]. But for sure it’s good for the championship and I have learned a lot on this rally, because it’s been a new surface... so for me, it’s been really good,’’ said Tidemand.
The fourth round of Asia Pacific Rallying Championship is scheduled between August 14-16.
APRC Rally of Queensland - Results (Top three)
- Pontus Tidemand (MRF Skoda) 2:01:23.8
- Michael Young (Cusko Racing) 2:05:25.0
- Subhan Aksa (Bosowa Racing) 2:08:00.8