Whangarei (New Zealand), April 27 (IANS) Racer Gaurav Gill sent out strong signals to his rivals by topping the unofficial time charts during a three-hour test session ahead of the International Rally of Whangarei here on Wednesday.
The event which is also the first round of the 2016 Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), will be run this weekend.
Spearheading Team MRF-SKODA’s challenge, the 34-year old Delhi-based Gill with Aussie Glenn Macneall in the co-driver’s seat, clocked a blistering one minute, 4 seconds over the 2.4 kilometres test strip with average speed of 134 kmph.
Gill, the 2013 APRC champion, covered about 50 kms through the three-hour session and expressed satisfaction at the car set-up and also the MRF tyres.
“It was a good outing today. It took me a while go get used to the highly responsive car which I am driving for the first time. I had to make a few changes in the way I drove, especially in terms of being more aggressive through the corners so as to work the chassis and the grip to their optimum level,” Gill said after the race.
“The tyres too were excellent and afforded good grip. I had to be more precise in the R5 than in the S2000. The R5 responds well, and with the right kind of a set-up, it is a great car to drive,” said Gill, winner here in 2014.
The International Rally of Whangarei, considered to be one of the quickest on the APRC circuit with its fast straights and flowing corners, will commence on Friday with a ceremonial start followed by Special Stages on Saturday and Sunday, totalling about 275 kms.