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Leg report
Other rally Asia Pacific Rally Championship: Australia

Australia APRC: Gill tops Friday shakedown

India’s star rally driver Gaurav Gill began the second round of Asia Pacific Rally Championship in Australia by setting the fastest time in Friday’s shakedown.

Gaurav Gill, Stéphane Prévot, Skoda Fabia R5, Team MRF

The annual Australian Rally has been moved from its traditional home in Queensland to the capital city of Canberra, meaning that none of the competing drivers have any prior experience of the layout.

With the field equalised, Team MRF’s Gill topped the shakedown with a time of 1m28.2s to take an early lead in the standings.

He was closely followed by teammate Christian Veiby, who completed the shakedown in 1m29.7s in the Indian tyre manufacturer’s second Skoda Fabia R5.

Once again, the Mpart-run Mitsubishi Mirage AP4s turned out to be MRF’s closest competitors, with former WRC driver Jari Ketomaa finishing third with a time of 1m31.2s.

Mpart’s Robert Blomberg was five seconds adrift in fourth, while India’s Abhilash PG was fifth quickest in a customer Subaru Impreza WRX Sti.

Apart from the aforementioned five competitors who will be contesting the entire season, 11 other drivers made a one-off appearance in the APRC rally.

The second round of APRC continues on Saturday, with the first eight stages taking place in Canberra. Drivers will cover a total distance of 102 km, 54 km of which will be timed.

Shakedown results:

Pos

Driver

Time

1

Gaurav Gill

Stephane Prevot

1m28.2s

2

Christian Veiby

Stig Rune Skjarmoen

1m29.7s

3

Jari Ketomaa

Ville Mannisenmaki

1m31.2s

4

Robert Blomberg

Lars Andersson

1m36.2s

5

Abhilash PG

Srikanth Gowda

1m38.2s

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