News brief, Rally of New Caledonia – Day 1
Gaurav Gill wins stages 1 and 2, building a margin of 14 seconds on team-mate Esapekka Lappi.
New stage SS2 has a big jump that most drivers have cautioned. It proves to be bigger than big, its massive!! – Matt van Tuinen is hospitalised after landing heavily, Bruce Fullerton is also hurt but carries on retiring near the end of the day with engine problems – a result of damage sustained on the jump. Brian Green hits a stump after the jump taking off a wheel, while Claude Clavel hits the same stump – front on!!
SS3: Gill has a small off road exursion, but it takes 30 seconds to engage reverse. His 14 second lead turns into second place, 15 second behind team-mate Esapekka Lappi.
SS4: On a fast downhill in 5th gear, Lappi, crashes off. The MRF Skoda is pitched sideways against a massive rock, the damage is serious and Lappi will not re-start tomorrow.
With all the carnage of the morning there are three APRC survivors at the end of Day 1 – Gill, Sanjay Takale and Simon Knowles.