MRF's Gill to make World Rally-2 debut in Portugal, drive Fiesta

Gaurav Gill will drive a Ford Fiesta R5 as part of his planned four-rally WRC2 campaign with MRF, Motorsport.com can reveal.

MRF's Gill to make World Rally-2 debut in Portugal, drive Fiesta

MRF announced its decision to step up to the second-tier World Rally Championship category with Gill earlier this month, but refused to go into details about its programme.

However, it is now understood that MRF will field a single Fiesta R5 for Gill, ending the Indian tyre manufacturer’s long-standing relationship with Skoda. MRF and the Czech car maker together swept the last six seasons of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).

Ford has already started working with Gill, with the 36-year-old present for the Global launch of the Freestyle crossover earlier this week.

Gill, who has won three APRC titles himself, will make his WRC2 debut at next month’s Portugal Rally. He is expected to make three more appearances in the championship over the remainder of the season.

Gill's partial WRC2 campaign has been made possible by a special permission from motorsport’s governing body, the FIA.

Although MRF wasn’t listed as a tyre manufacturer before the start of the year, it is understood that the permission to join mid-season was granted on the condition that it would take part in all WRC2 rallies in 2019.

To prepare for a full WRC2 season next year, MRF will scrap its highly-successful APRC programme.

Gill, however, will continue to take part in the Indian National Rally Championship, which starts this weekend in Chennai, due to pre-existing agreements with Mahindra.

The New Delhi-based driver is also expected to compete in Dakshin Dare in India as part of Mahindra’s return to cross-country rallying.

Gus Greensmith, Craig Parry, Ford Fiesta R5
Gus Greensmith, Craig Parry, Ford Fiesta R5

Photo by: M-Sport

 
shares
comments
Argentina WRC: Tanak opens up lead after Mikkelsen puncture

Previous article

Argentina WRC: Tanak opens up lead after Mikkelsen puncture

Next article

Only weather can stop Tanak now, says Meeke

Only weather can stop Tanak now, says Meeke
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Prime

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Prime

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Prime

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium Prime

Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Prime

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Prime

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021