Gaurav Gill gears up for Safari Rally in Kenya

India’s decorated rally driver and Arjuna Awardee Gaurav Gill announced his return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) 2022 after a two-year hiatus.

Published : Jun 15, 2022 20:18 IST , New Delhi

File picture of Gaurav Gill.
File picture of Gaurav Gill.

File picture of Gaurav Gill.

Gaurav Gill looks almost restless to get back to racing action as he eyes a creditable finish in the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally in Kenya from June 23 to 26.

“I last raced before the pandemic set in and now I can’t wait to get going,” said Gill here on Wednesday.

Gill, an Arjuna Awardee, will be driving Skoda Fabia R5 in the WRC2 with Brazilian co-driver Gabriel Morales. “This terrain is considered one of the toughest in the world and I need to have the right mindset to complete the course,” said Gill. The Safari comprises 19 special stages covering around 365 kms of competition, the challenges being closed dirt roads, rocky and rutted tracks, not to forget unpredictable weather.

A three-time Asia-Pacific Rally championship (APRC) winner, Gill mentioned how tough it was to deal with the days of the pandemic but was quick to add, “I made the most of the time on hand and worked a lot on optimising my fitness levels. There are stages when we drive up to 12-16 hours and lose 5-6 kgs of water weight. One needs to be in the best of shapes to be able to deal with the challenges.”

Gill’s last competitive race in the WRC2 was the 2019 Rally of Turkey where he missed out on a top-five finish but his stupendous drive attracted a lot of praise from the driving community. 

About his expectations, Gill said, “I’m pretty hard on myself. I am looking to give it all and complete it in a good time.”

Back home, the JK Tyre plans grand celebrations to mark its 25-year association with the National Racing championship while being optimistic about bringing back its marquee event at the Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida.

JK Tyre's Head of Motorsports Sanjay Sharma also announced a scholarship programme that offers 300,000 euros to five talents, including one girl, across all verticals of motorsports. Rising 17-year-old Amir Sayed is one of the beneficiaries of this programme. This Kottayam-based racer was the 2020 JK Tyre Novice Cup Champion
having won all 12 races in his category.

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