Team MRF will be rightfully pleased with an APRC clean sweep, but would have preferred Gaurav Gill to lead Jan Kopecky.
Since the 2012 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship season, Team MRF Skoda has been untouchable with the major source of entertainment largely being speculating which of their two drivers will win the title.
In the three seasons since, India’s Gaurav Gill proved himself more than just a little adept at keeping up with highly rated talents who between them have finished on the WRC podium and won rally titles in Europe.
Beating Finnish rally champion Esappeka Lappi last year to win his maiden APRC crown and beating European champion Jan Kopecky in a straight fight in New Zealand were testament to Gill’s talent.
Although the odd flashes of the ‘old Gill’ still seemed to manifest with the Delhi native going like a bat out of hell at the top of the timesheets only to end up crashing out.
It was something of a reminder for Gill to not be complacent as he chases his ultimate dream of excelling at the European and then world stage.
Kopecky, on the other hand, was elated at adding another title to his CV to go with his European rally crown.
“It’s been a great year and thanks a lot to the whole team it was a great opportunity in APRC and hopefully I can come back for some rallies in the future,” said Kopecky “I think the highlight is we won the championship, our team-mate Gaurav was very strong, he knows the conditions and we managed to beat him. I’m very happy we showed that Skoda is really strong, a really strong brand and we showed to everyone our car is really fantastic.”
For Gill there is more on the horizon, however. A factory test with Skoda for the new R5 Fabia due to the fact that his very obvious pace has caught the Czech manufacturer’s attention.
There is also the very real chance of Gill competing in the European Rally Championship. So there is still the chance to achieve perfection later even if his current campaign was not quite so.