iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Ashutosh Sharma, Hindustan Times
Johor Bahru, August 24, 2013
Team MRF’s Gaurav Gill will be determined to make the most of the Malaysian Rally, the fourth round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), to remain in the race for the title this weekend. With just two more stages to go, it seems like a three-way race to the title. While Gill is currently third with 71.5 points, his teammate, Esapekka Lappi, leads the pack with 78 points.

For Lappi, it’s his first year in this rally and Gill said he will be banking on experience to come good in the event, which is held among huge plantations just outside here.

“For me, it’s the most difficult race. There are lots of elements involved, other than just driving fast.  There is the physical part and the road conditions which determine how fast you can go. Then, other elements also play their part,” said Gill.

Held in hot and humid conditions, Gill said competing here would be difficult.

“If it rains, which happens almost every year around this time, it gets very tricky and car handling becomes unpredictable. Then, there is the weather. The heat and humidity take a toll on the body,” said Gill, who won the Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie.

“Once you start feeling the heat and your core temperature also starts to rise, it becomes more about concentration and will power,” he added.

The Indian is still ruing his luck after a broken right rear strut, which mounts the shockers, cost him victory at last month’s Queensland APRC.

“It was tough. I was leading the pack comfortably but this happens,” he said.\

The writer’s trip has being sponsored by MRF