Gaurav Gill has won the 2013 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally title after finishing second in the APRC China Rally Longyou.
Driving for Team MRF ŠKODA alongside navigator Glenn Macneall, Gill's feat marked the first time that an Indian driver on Indian tyres has won FIA APRC title.
Gill’s title triumph is the second in a row for the Race Torque Engineering-run Team MRF operation following Chris Atkinson’s success in 2012. ŠKODA has successfully defended its APRC Manufacturers’ crown, while Team MRF ŠKODA is the winner of the APRC Teams’ award ahead of Cusco Racing of Japan.
“It’s an amazing feeling and the biggest triumph of my career. We have been trying to make this happen for a few years but we've always had some issue or another every time", commented an elated Gill.
"But this year has been good, we've had ŠKODA with our MRF team and perfect tyres. I'm really excited, not just me, it’s for the whole team and back home I'm sure even for our country”
Gill, 31, has enjoyed a hugely successful APRC season in 2013 with victories in New Caledonia and Japan and second-place finishes in New Zealand and China. Meanwhile, Lappi’s first place in China marked his third victory of 2013. However, non-scores in New Caledonia, Malaysia and Japan ruled him out of the title fight, although his win in China means he finishes runner-up to Gill in the final standings.
India’s Sanjay Takale, the APRC Production Cup champion, finishes third in the final table for Subaru with New Zealander Michael Young claiming an impressive fourth overall. Young is also the winner of the APRC Junior Cup driving a Toyota Vitz.
APRC CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS
APRC Drivers’ champion: Gaurav Gill
APRC Co-drivers’ champion: Glenn Macneall
APRC Manufacturers’ champion: ŠKODA
APRC Teams’ champion: Team MRF ŠKODA
APRC Production Cup champion: Sanjay Takale
APRC Junior Cup champion: Michael Young
APRC 2WD champion: Michael Young