Gill wins Rally South India

The running of the 46th South India Rally saw a familiar name rise to the top, with three-time FIA Asia Pacific Rally Champion Gaurav Gill and co-driver Aniruddha Rangnekar win the qualifying round for the 2023 championship.

Delhi based Gill (Subaru Impreza), led home Thai based Mana Pornsirichard and Thanyaphat Meenil (TGR C-HR). Third was Amittrajit Ghosh and Ashwin Naik (Mahindra XUV).

Weather played a significant factor in the running of the event. Based at the Madras International Circuit (MIC), two of the Sunday competitive sections were cancelled due to heavy rain. That reduced the day to a repeat run of the 16.5km Aavisa stage.

“I am very relieved as it was mentally very taxing weekend,” said Gill at the finish. “There were niggles with my car that went on forever, and I am happy to bring it back home safely.”

Thailands Pornsiricherd, Rally South India 2023
“There were also extreme changes in conditions. One stage (MIC track) was bone dry and the other (Aavisa) slushy Saturday, and Sunday, it was the other way around when portions of the stage were under water. I had a tough time negotiating it, and no surprises that the stage was later cancelled as there was no way the two-wheel drive cars behind us could have made it.”

“Looking ahead, I will be getting back into the Indian National Rally Championship this season and also plan to do the final round of the APRC in Indonesia later this year.”

Gaurav Gill, Rally South India 2023
Of the 15 entered (and qualifying to contest the final APRC round), 12 made it to the finish. The round also counted toward the Asia Cup – a subtitle to the overall championship.

The next qualifying round for the 2023 championship will be held at New Zealand’s Otago Rally. A round of the Pacific Cup, the event runs from 1-2 April.

Final Results – Rally South India 2023
1. G Gill / A Rangnekar, Subaru Impreza, 1:50:23
2. P Mana / M Thanyphat, Toyota HC-R, +0:49
3. A Ghosh / A Naik, Mahindra XUV300, +8:21
4. J Gill / SK Prasad, VW Polo, +10:41.9
5. S Yadav / A Dheerendra, Suzuki Gypsy, +12:49.1

Photos courtesy: