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Gill won’t let last year’s crash get to him

NO FEAR: Gaurav Gill will be hitting the accelerator at this weekend’s International Rally of Queensland.
NO FEAR: Gaurav Gill will be hitting the accelerator at this weekend’s International Rally of Queensland. Contributed

GAURAV Gill won't be holding back at round three of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship on the Sunshine Coast this weekend despite suffering a horror crash at the event last year.

The Indian-born driver was leading the race at the time and was lucky to come out of the crash relatively unscathed.

"We had a problem with the front left suspension and the wheel broke," he said.

"So we turned right instead of turning left without my control and rolled down a hill.

"That was pretty nasty."

The drivers have had a chance to test the Imbil track ahead of this weekend's race, which is part of the International Rally of Queensland, and Gill said Sunshine Coast conditions are some of the toughest.

"Conditions in Australia are pretty crazy. It's been wet all week and then all of a sudden the sun comes out and there is no more rain expected," he said.

"So it's tricky.

"You prepare for a dry track so you hit the corner flat out with maximum aggression and then suddenly there's no grip and you're like 'Oh s**t'."

Although conditions are expected to dry up with sunshine forecast for the weekend.

Gill is a former APRC champion and currently sits in second place on 67 points, three points behind his MRF team-mate Pontus Tidemand but said that won't stop him from overtaking the Swede if it comes down to it.

"It's very important to be competitive.

"You can be friends off the field but if you're not enemies on the field then you're not a professional."

The pair only met in April this year at the start of the rally season but Gill said they are forming a formidable partnership.

"I haven't really known him for a long time but he's a really good guy."

Along with third team-mate Jean Louis Leyraud, the MRF team has a combined total of 178 season

points, with the next placed driver Michael Young accumulating just 26 points.

The MRF team overcame mechanical issues last round in New Caledonia to take out all three podium positions with Gill taking out top spot to mount pressure on Tidemand.

Gill's success is building the sport's reputation in India despite being a cricket dominated country.

He doesn't quite share the same profile of India's national cricketers but said the sport has become quite popular in his home country with some drivers going on to make films.

"I have a lot of people who follow me but I'm not a Bollywood star yet," he said. "I can't dance yet."

But he didn't rule out the possibility.

"Yeah why not? I'd give it a try."

The International Rally of Queensland boasts a variety of divisions, including the Australian Rally Championship.

Topics:  crash