Gaurav Gill from India has won the 2008 Rally of Indonesia by nearly 2 minutes with his MRF Tyres Mitsubishi team-mate Katsu Taguchi second. After being 4.5 seconds off taking the lead Cody Crocker slipped to third after a puncture on Stage 12.
The first 3 stages of day 2 were a great battle between Taguchi, Gill and Crocker. Taguchi was fastest of the three drivers over the three stages, but Gill managed to hold the gap to Crocker to 4.5 seconds heading back to mid-day service. On Stage 12 it was Crocker’s turn to have a puncture dropping the Australian to 3rd, 2-minutes behind Taguchi. With only 2 stages to run Gill was uncatchable and went on to win his first major international rally. “We set some good times yesterday but then we had a gearbox problem and had to limp through the stages, but then the other guys had punctures and problems too – I’m learning all the time, this is what APRC is all about.
I’m really happy to be matching the speed of the big boys, that’s what I wanted and thats what we’ve acheived here. Its a brillant feeling comparing your times when the difference is only seconds or half seconds. I ‘ve been watching these guys for years, now I’m racing against them and matching their times. I’m really happy and really excited, thanks to my team and MRF Tyres, they worked really well. Thanks to Katsu he’s always been there helping me out to drive better.
This is great for Indian motorsports for sure, maybe they were expecting a podium from me but not a win – I expect it will surprise a few people. To be honest I felt a bit of pressure, but I knew I wanted to come here and win for sure. I’m really looking forward to Malaysia now where we have the new Pirelli Star Cup challenge and I’d like to go there and top the times again”, said Gill at the finish.
Taguchi now has a six point advantage of his close rival Crocker, “Very good for us as this rally we must finish in front of Cody, this we do – so very very good result for the championship. Our stage times through the rally are quite similar to Codys, but we change our flat tyre in 2 minutes and they change their’s in 3 minutes so we beat him by 1 minute. We have a 6 point lead in the championship so looking forward to Malaysia. Cody has an extra event than us, so we need maximum attack in Malaysia to get maximum points. My team-mate Gaurav was very impressive, he set good times in shakedown then we thought he could be good”.
The next event in the championship is the Malaysian Rally in Johor Baru on October 10-11th.
Overall Result of the Classification APRC series round 5 (unofficial):
1. Gaurav Gill/ Jagdev Singh Evo IX 3:03:23
2. Katsuhiko Taguchi/ Mark Stacey Evo IX 3:04:30
3. Cody Crocker/ Ben Atkinson Subaru Imprezza WRX 3:05:47
4. Rifat Sungkar/ Bill Hayes Subaru Imprezza WRX 3:08:44
5. Subhan Aksa/ Hade Mboi Evo IX 3:11:19
Katsu Taguchi 55
Cody Crocker 49
Dean Herridge 32
Hiroshi Yanagisawa 22
Rifat Sungkar 17
Brian Green 17
Guarev Gill 17
Scott Pedder 15