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Thread: Gaurav Gill shows his class in Rally of Turkey before being hit by bad luck

  1. #1
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    Default Gaurav Gill shows his class in Rally of Turkey before being hit by bad luck

    Ace Indian rallyist Gaurav Gill showcased his skill and winnability in the Rally of Turkey by dazzling in the opening four stages on Friday. Driving for JK Racing, Gaurav (with Glenn Macneall of Australia as co-driver) proved his mettle in one of the world's toughest rallies and set the pace from the word go in his brand new untested EcoBoost-powered R5 MkII Ford Fiesta, clocking the fastest time in the shakedown on Thursday.

    Gaurav, who was recently bestowed with the Arjuna Award, the first motorsport person from India to achieve the feat did not have enough time to test his car as the vessel carrying the vehicle docked in late leaving him little time to have a test ride. And despite all the odds, he proved his worth behind the wheels and stayed in contention to finish on the podium, giving the WRC regulars a run for their money. He was in ominous form despite facing setbacks with his car and was poised for his maiden podium finish in the WRC 2 before a series of unfortunate incidents hit him.

    He was on the threshold of making it a perfect start to his 2019 international campaign and at one stage, after SS2 in fact, he had moved up to the third position to put himself in line for a podium finish.

    In the first spectator-friendly super special stage on Friday night, he got off the blocks a little slow but still posted a time of 2:12.1 minutes, the fifth-fastest in his category. The second stage was replete with drama, with his car spinning mid-way through the run and also developing a puncture in the later part.
    Despite that, Gaurav managed to complete the 24.85 km long second stage in a mere 19:45.1 minutes to move up the ladder.

    Placed third after SS2, it looked like that the three-time APRC champion, driving as a registered driver in the WRC2 for the first time, would close the gap in the next stage but bad luck followed him again. He endured a flat tyre after he hit a hole and lost out on precious minutes to end the stage with a time of 33:03.5 minutes.

    He recovered brilliantly in the fourth stage, posting a time of 13:10.1 minutes to remain four minutes adrift of the leader and three minutes off the third place.
    With an eye to close the gap on the leaders, Gaurav started well in the fifth stage but with just 4.5 kilometres into SS5, he suffered a front-left suspension damage cutting short his day.

    "It was just bad luck. We had a mechanical failure and our lower arm joint under braking snapped. The car did not face any damage but we were lucky that the malfunction did not happen in the corner as that would have seen us slide down the hill," Gaurav sighed after the fifth stage.

    The Rally of Turkey, considered one of the toughest rallies in the world, covers a total distance of 988.50 kms with 310.10 kms earmarked for 17 special stages. Most of the stages will be on gravel, with a few of them running on concrete tiles and tarmac too.

    The WRC2 has seen many major changes, with one category set aside for manufacturer-supported entries and the other for independent drivers. Gaurav is in the latter, having the option of the buying or hiring a car from a manufacturer and operating his own team.

    His best six scores count towards a driver’s championship, giving him a very good chance this year.
    bharatheshk and Sumazure like this.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gaurav Gill shows his class in Rally of Turkey before being hit by bad luck

    India’s top rally driver Gaurav Gill won commendations of his co-competitors in the World Rally Championship, overcoming mechanical failures and a series of punctures in the grueling Rally of Turkey before it all ended in heartbreak for him and the country late on Sunday.

    Going into the final day with a top-five finish firmly in sight, the JK Racing ace underlined his mettle by finishing second in the first stage of the day. He continued in the same vein, taking the third place in the next stage too, demonstrating phenomenal speed and control to post spectacular timings to inch up the leader-board.

    These two added up to a top-3 finish in five out of the 9 stages that he had conquered without a hitch, not counting the shakedown in which he proved to be the fastest among the lot.

    In the penultimate stage with a strong finish beckoning him, disaster struck: the transmission of the car seized and ground him to a halt. The car locked up completely and could not even be pushed into neutral, killing all chances of recouping and making up in the final stretch of the WRC.

    “It was one of the toughest weekends, rather toughest rallies of my life. Right from the beginning, it was difficult to get into a good rhythm because the rally was so slow and twisty, with so many huge rocks and boulders around,” Gaurav said.

    “I of course didn’t have much previous experience with the car and the setup, making it that much more difficult. The plan was to take one step at a time and it almost paid off. But we were marred by so many issues, including mechanical problems in the car. The good thing is we got some great timings and should keep us in a positive frame for the next round,” he added.

    “Almost all the top drivers congratulated me for the way I drove and handled the situations,” Gaurav revealed.

    The Rally of Turkey lived up to its reputation of being the toughest in the world, pushing as many as 11 drivers to the brink and a DNF. Spread over four days, Gaurav had to cover a total distance of 988.50 kms, with 310.10 kms earmarked for special stages. More tellingly, every stage was a test for the driver as well as the car, traversing past picturesque locales that could transform into death-traps at the tiniest of errors.

    The 3-time APRC champion and Arjuna Awardee began his campaign on the world stage on a high note.

    He faced major mechanical issues in 4 stages, starting with front suspension collapse to tear damper seizure to transmission failure. He even did a couple of stages with punctures.

    He left a lasting impression on the grid which’ll help boost his confidence for future international outings.

    bharatheshk and sparky like this.

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    Default Re: Gaurav Gill shows his class in Rally of Turkey before being hit by bad luck

    Fantastic!, love his drive and fabulous pics too.

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up Re: Gaurav Gill shows his class in Rally of Turkey before being hit by bad luck

    Bad luck... indeed. If you think Gaurav Gill's troubles ended with these mechanical failures and stuff, well, clearly you didn't read the papers.

    Please note that "Booked" doesn't mean "Arrested". So, its still not bad as it sounds.

    Maxperienace, Mahindra, JK Tyres, MRF Tyres and the Federation of Motor Sports Club of India -- have also been named in the FIR.

    From some media reports, it seems organisers had set up barricades and continued to educate the villagers about the event from 15 days ago. Still, on the day of race, one person broke the barricade and rode on the track, and Gaurav tried to brake hard, but they were right in middle of the road. The crash happened at around 145 kmph allegedly.

    Even Gaurav has apparently been injured in ribs and abdominals. Gaurav is an Arjuna Awardee.

    I think Gaurav is in a lot of trouble, for no mistake of his. If closed barricades are not paid attention to, maybe the organisers are not careful enough or sensitive enough about the nature of situation.
    A racer is not a magician that he can stop at any given speed.

    Hopefully, real justice will be served and not one dictated by mobocracy.

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