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India APRC: Gill takes charge as Kreim retires from Leg 1

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India APRC: Gill takes charge as Kreim retires from Leg 1
By:
Dec 4, 2016, 12:24 PM

Newly-crowned double APRC champion Gaurav Gill headed the timesheets in the opening leg of Rally of India, as Team MRF teammate Fabian Kreim suffered an early retirement.

Gaurav Gill, Team MRF
Sanjay Takale, Noriko Takeshita, Subaru Impreza WRX, Cusco Racing
Gaurav Gill and Glenn MacNeall, Skoda Fabia R5, Team MRF
Fabian Kreim, Frank Christian, Skoda Fabia R5, Team MRF
Gaurav Gill and Glenn MacNeall, Skoda Fabia R5, Team MRF

Set near the coffee plantations of Chikmagalur, the Rally of India marks a return of APRC to the subcontinent after a 12 year hiatus.

The first leg saw Gill (co-driver Glenn Macneall) complete a clean sweep in his Skoda Fabia R5, winning each of the 13 stages to post the chart-topping time of 2hr42m32.8s.

While the Indian had a virtually trouble-free day, Kreim’s (co-driver Frank Christian) outing came to an early halt when he hit a tree during SS4.

Due to the blockage the stage was effectively neutralised, with competitors who were supposed to head out after the German given a standard completion time.

This included the New Zealand duo of Mike Young and co-driver and Malcolm Read, who finished 7m33.6s adrift of pacesetter Gill in second place.

Veteran Indian rally driver Sanjay Takale managed to secure third position, despite a puncture on the left front tyre that severely compromised his stage times. 

Yuya Sumiyama (co-driver Takahiro Yasui) and Phalguna V Urs (co-driver Chandramouli) joined Kreim in the list of retirees, with the latter not allowed to take further part in the rally for not meeting the requisite safety requirements.

However, the German driver will most likely return to action in Leg 2 after an early setback.

APRC Leg 1 Results:

Pos

Driver

Manufacturer

Time

Gap

1

 Gaurav Gill

 Glenn Macneall

Skoda

2hr42m32.8s

-

2

 Mike Young

 Malcolm  Read

Subaru

2hr50m06.4s

7m33.6s

3

 Sanjay Takale

 Noriko Takeshita

Subaru

3hr00m06.5s

18m27.5s

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