Gaurav Gill to defend APRC crown

Chennai, March 6: Gaurav Gill and co-driver Glenn MacNeall will defend their title in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with the Team MRF SKODA Fabia S2000, it was announced here Thursday.

The 32-year-old Gill became the first Indian to win the APRC title driving for Team MRF, for whom it was their fourth success in the championship.

For the 2014 season, Team MRF Skoda will field two teams again with European Rally Championship winners Jan Kopecky and Pavel Dresler in the other car.

Team MRF enjoyed a near perfect season last year when they won five of the six APRC rounds and will also be seeking their third successive title after winning in 2012 with Chris Atkinson and 2013 with Gill.

Last season, Gill had victories in the New Calendonian and Japan while finishing second in New Zealand and China. His team-mate Esapekka Lappi, in his first APRC campaign, won in China, New Zealand and Australia, but non-finishes in the other three events put him out of the championship running.

Gill said: “I will be working much closer with the MRF Research and Development team to ensure we have the best possible tyres. These guys are capable of developing tyres to match the best in the world and together we hope to achieve this.

“We will not rest on our laurels and will continue to push to ensure that we are fighting for the title again.”

The 2014 APRC series has six rounds starting in New Zealand (April 11-13) followed by New Caledonia (May 16-18), Australia (June 20-22), Malaysia (Aug 15-17), Japan (Sep 26-28) and China (Nov 7-9).

IANS