Gaurav Gill is clear about what he wants and what he wants to do. The new lead driver for TSI Racing doesn’t believe in holding back. “ I want to win and that’s why I’m here. I want to make the best out of it and I’ll make sure that I do everything that’s required of me. I want to be in the top six in the first round itself and I know I can do it,” says the confident Gill.
An intense physical programme, that now sees Gill complete about 72 push-ups in a minute, is just a part of what goes into making a good season. “I’ve never ever spent so much time in the gym but I’m enjoying it. It’s extreme training but I need to be in peak physical shape. Thankfully, my girlfriend also likes it,” jokes the Delhi driver.
A late replacement for Naren Kumar at Team Sidvin — the first Indian team in the Production Car World Rally Championship (P-WRC) — in 2008, Gill had impressed the team and many others with his speed and aggression behind the wheel, at his test in Finland in October and for Mohan Nagarajan — now team principal of the newly christened TSI Racing.
And those were good enough reasons to draft Gill in. “We had been in talks with Gaurav for two years but he felt he needed more miles. When we saw him in Finland, we couldn’t believe how fast he really was. His speed, aggression and astonishing car control are what set him apart. Even at Rally of Wales, where he couldn’t finish, he was consistently doing the fastest times. A lot of people feel he’s the man to watch,” said Nagarajan at the official unveiling of the team here on Wednesday.
With Tommi Makkinen Racing as its racing partner, TSI Racing has big plans for 2009. “We’ve the technical backing and the car is being constantly developed. A lot of R&D has gone into the car, to the level where it requires minimum tweaking. To be brutally honest, we underestimated a lot of things last year and overestimated our ability. We’ve learnt our lessons and we’re confident we will have a few podiums this year,” were Nagarajan’s words.
Gill, who won the Indonesia round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship last year, echoes the same confidence. “Mohan has delivered on everything he promised and now it’s up to me. I know that the competition is intense but I’m the kind of driver who thrives on competition and pressure. I don’t think safe. I just attack and even though I’m not familiar with the terrain, I’m not worried. I’m just excited. Bas kuch karna hai,” he says.
The first test for TSI Racing will be the Cyprus Rally in mid-March. Before that the team is headed for a four-day test in Italy. [Source: The Times of India, Bangalore]