New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) Indian driver Gaurav Gill was off to a brilliant start, finishing 3rd in the WRC2 category and 6th overall, only 1.3 seconds off the overall leader T. Neuville, and 1.2 seconds off WRC2 leader T. Suninen respectively in Super Special Stage (SSS) in the Acropolis Rally Greece at the Athens Olympic Stadium on Thursday.
Driving on the twisty gravel mountain roads of Greece, combined with high temperatures and choking dust, the only Indian on the grid of 70 of the wor’d’s best rally drivers started with the speed of approximately 10-15 seconds of his leader every 5kms
Clubbed with his years-long expertise behind the wheels on the home soil and abroad, the 3-time Asia Pacific Rally Champion and 7-time Indian National Rally Championship title holder, Gill made his presence felt going ahead with the rally.
As WRC Rally starts with a shakedown wherein teams and drivers get an opportunity to test their machines for the forthcoming rally stages, Gill in his maiden outing in Acropolis Rally was only 1.5 seconds off the WRC 2 quickest car.
Driving the magnificent Skoda Fabia R5 Rally2 car, Gill is visibly in great shape competing with the WRC leaders in one of the most gruelling and challenging rallies in the WRC calendar.
Speaking on his performance, Gaurav G”ll said, “We are happy with the start we’ve got right from the Shakedown up till now. This rally is a true test of patience and endurance. The tracks are really challenging and it gets tougher. We are pumped up to give our best to tackle the obstacles and maintain co”sistency.”
The Acropolis Rally Greece will cover a total distance of 1192 km including 16 Special stages of 303 kms (for reference domestic rallies run a SS of approx. 100kms). With soaring summer temperatures in Acropolis, the stages of Elatia, Bauxites, and Tarzan will become even more daunting as the drivers and their cars can succumb to the twisty, dusty, rock-strewn mountain roads.