Gaurav Gill will miss the APRC season opener in Noumea next weekend. It’s believed Gill suffered a dirt-bike accident in mid-March, damaging his knee.
Although the injury was originally reported as being minor, the 2007 Indian national champion has been ruled out of Rally New Caledonia, and may also miss Rally Canberra which starts in mid-May.
The good news is that Gaurav has been given a second chance by MRF, named as part of their three-car APRC squad. Along with Scott Pedder, who replaces Finn Jussi Valimaki, experienced Japanese driver Katsu Taguchi returns for another attempt at the title he won in 1999.
Speaking to The Hindu at the team’s season launch, held in Coimbatore yesterday, MRF motorsport boss Tony Rodricks said “…the competition is definitely going to be intense this year…Katsuhiko is the experienced (one) of the bunch. We expect him to fare well this season”.
Taguchi will again pilot a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, prepared by Race Torque Engineering, and has been given #1 seeding for Noumea, meaning he’ll be sweeping the roads for the crews that follow.