After suffering a mechanical failure on day 1 and missing three stages, Gaurav Gill recovered to finish sixth overall in WRC2 on day 2.
Ace rally driver and recent Arjuna award winner Gaurav Gill saw mixed fortunes in the Rally of Turkey in WRC2 category on day 1 and 2. Gill, who entered WRC2 with JK Racing this year, suffered a front-left suspension damage in the fifth stage of rally on Friday, but despite that he bounced back and finished in sixth position in the WRC2 category by the end of Stage 13 today.
The Rally of Turkey is infamous for its super rough terrain and it’s one of the most challenging outings in WRC. Gill, with co-driver Glenn Macneall of Australia, entered the rally with his brand new untested EcoBoost-powered R5 MkII Ford Fiesta, but right from the go, Gill was on it as he clocked the fastest time in the shakedown on Thursday.
In the first spectator friendly super special stage on Friday night, Gill was off to a slow start, but was placed fifth fastest in his category. In the next stage, his car spun mid-way through the run, while his progress was furthered slowed down by a puncture in the later part. Despite the setbacks, Gill managed to finish the stage and moved up to third after stage 2. Gill was looking strong in third position, but in the third stage, he had another puncture and lost out precious time. The fourth stage saw Gill drive flat-out as he made up for the lost ground to the front runners, and remained four minutes adrift from the leader. However, everything went for a toss in the fifth stage as his car suffered a major mechanical problem, thanks to a damage in the front-left suspension. He slipped to ninth owing to this after the end of the fifth stage.
The mechanical failure prevented him from taking part in remaining two stages on Friday. However, after missing three stages and serving a seven minutes penalty for that, Gill bounced back to emerge as one of the top drivers on Saturday. Despite having a slow start, Gill posted the third fastest time in stage 9th, 10th and 11th. At the moment, Gill is placed sixth overall in WRC2 category and, in the overall standings - which includes WRC, WRC Pro and WRC2 - he is placed 18th. There are four more stages to go, and Gill be hoping to finish in top 5.