Gaurav Gill's Ford Fiesta suffered a transmission failure on the final day of Rally of Turkey, which eventually brought an end to his and JK Racing team's first WRC outing of 2019.
The final day of the Rally of Turkey ended in a heartbreak for India’s top rally driver Gaurav Gill. Gill’s car suffered a mechanical failure – a seized gearbox, to be precise – in the second last or 16th stage of the rally, meaning his first WRC outing this year ended in a DNF.
Gill had mixed fortunes on day 1, too, as his car suffered a suspension damage and multiple punctures. Owing to this, Gill had to miss three stages on day 2 while he also served a penalty of seven minutes for the same. Despite the setbacks, Gill bounced back to finish sixth overall in WRC2 category after the end of 13 stages on the second day.
Going into the final four stages on day 3, Gill got off to a flying start and finished second in the first stage of the day. He continued his form in the following stage by taking the third place. These two added up to a top-3 finish in five out of the nine stages for Gill. However, his stellar run came to an unfortunate end as the transmission of his car seized in the middle of stage 16. Owing to this, Gill was forced to retire from the rally.
Commenting on his mixed fortunes in Turkey, Gill said, “It was one of the toughest weekends, rather toughest rallies of my life. Right from the beginning, it was difficult to get into a good rhythm because the rally was so slow and twisty, with so many huge rocks and boulders around. I, of course, didn’t have much previous experience with the car and the setup, making it that much more difficult. The plan was to take one step at a time and it almost paid off. But we were marred by so many issues, including mechanical problems in the car. The good thing is we got some great timings and should keep us in a positive frame for the next round.”
Gill’s non-finish at the Rally of Turkey definitely came as a big blow, but then, given his performance – with virtually no seat time in his new rally car prior to the rally – yet again showed that he’s the potential to take podium finish WRC2. Gill is now expected to contest in the Wales Rally in Great Britain in October, while it's very likely that he'll also take part in the final rally of season in Australia. Not to mention, both of these rounds will be kinder to his car as the stages aren’t going to be as rough as they were in Turkey.