Champion Driver Gaurav Gill All Set For Otago Rally In New Zealand - Eastern Mirror
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Champion driver Gaurav Gill all set for Otago Rally in New Zealand

By IANS Updated: Mar 26, 2024 9:10 pm
Otago Rally

NEW DELHI — Arjuna awardee Gaurav Gill is all set to participate in the Otago Rally in New Zealand, scheduled to be held in Dunedin from April 12-14. Gill’s entry in the event is being backed by Indian businessman Vamcy Merla, who is also a promoter of the Otago Rally, which is being held as a round of Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) 2024.

India’s fastest Rally driver, JK Tyre’s Gill will take the place of 2022 APRC champion and 10-time Otago Rally winner Haydon Paddon and will be driving Paddon’s Hyundai i20 N Rally2.

The four-wheel drive i20 N Rally2 weighs 1,230kg and is equipped with a 1.6 litre, turbo-charged engine, fitted to a 32mm air restrictor and a five-speed sequential gearbox, Gill’s sponsors informed in a release on Tuesday.

The Otago Rally is amongst the most historic rally events in the world and has been held every year since 1976. Headlining a field of 117 cars, the Otago rally this year is the largest in four years.

The 2024 edition will play out over 16 timed special stages spread over a distance of 280 kilometres comprising a mix of tarmac and gravel surfaces.

Otago Rally

Gill will be seen competing with American Rally Champion, Brandon Semenuk, a crowd favorite driving his Subaru H6, local drivers including Tim Smith in his Subaru, Andrew Graves in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3, Emma Gilmour driving the Citroen C3 Rally2, Ben Hunt driving his Skoda Fabia, Robbie Stokes in his Ford Fiesta and Jack Hawkeswood in his Toyota Yaris AP4.

Talking about his participation in New Zealand, Gaurav Gill said, “Following a gap since my last international appearance at the Rally of Greece last year, I’m really looking forward to getting my 2024 campaign off to a strong start with the historic Otago Rally in New Zealand.

I’m grateful to JK Tyre and Vamcy Merla for this opportunity. The Hyundai i20 N Rally 2 car I will be driving is a prospective winner and my goal is to extend this winning run into the year 2024.”

Sanjay Sharma, Head-Motorsport, JK Tyre & Industries said, “We are looking forward to seeing Gaurav Gill behind the wheels of the Hyundai i20 N Rally 2 car this time, a first for both Gill and us.

The car has a proven track record of victories, and the Otago Rally has presented us with an exciting opportunity to unleash this powerhouse.

“We’re confident that Gill’s unparalleled skills combined with the car’s capabilities will pave the path for success,” he added.

Speaking on Gill’s participation, Vamcy Merla said, “I’m glad to contribute to Indian Rallying wherever possible and my endeavor to promote Indians at international rallying events have already started yielding results. With India’s best rally driver Gaurav Gill behind the wheel, I look forward to seeing the Indian flag on the podium.”

By IANS Updated: Mar 26, 2024 9:10:03 pm
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