Japan APRC: Gill, Veiby in title hunt
The battle for the 2017 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship will be bitter as the title could be decided in Japan.
The contenders for the APRC title in the upcoming Rally Hokkaido will be Team MRF Tyres teammates Ole Christian Veiby (Stig Rune Skjarmoen) and Gaurav Gill (Stephane Prevot). They will be driving the Skoda Fabia R5 cars.
The Norwegian leads the points standings with 108 points, while the Indian is on 98. Third on the points table is Jari Ketomaa (Ville Mannisenmali) in the new Mitsubishi Mirage and he is on 56 points.
The Super Special Stage was run on Friday and Veiby topped the timecharts with a 37.6s. Yuya Sumiyama (Takahiro Yasui), of Cusco Racing, was second fastest in the 0.96Km stage with a 38.2s. Gill, the two-time and defending champion, was next with 38.9s.
Gill had a miserable time in the previous round, the International Rally of Johor. A small driving mistake saw him lose time and so did a problem with the car.
"If it turns out that Gill sets a pace that we're having trouble keeping up with, we will do our own thing and focus on completing the event," Veiby told the official APRC website.
"There's no point in taking unnecessary risks when we are in the lead of the championship," he added.
Veiby had a brand new Fabia R5 in Malaysia. This time, Gill’s Skoda will sport a fresh engine
With just one round remaining in the championship (in Chikmagalur, India) after Hokkaido, the MPart Mitsubishi’s Mirage’s of Jari Ketomaa and Robert Blomberg still have a shot at the title.
The other Indian in the fray in Sanjay Takale (Noriko Takeshita).
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Japan APRC: Gill takes lead in Rally Hokkaido