Gaurav Gill wins Rally of Coimbatore with dominant show
Gaurav Gill has been the standard bearer in Indian rallying for quite some time now, but a recent run of retirements had proved to be the bane for the experienced rally ace. He bounced back to form at round 2 of the 2022 Indian National Rally Championship, the Rally of Coimbatore, with a dominant performance in his rally-spec Mahindra XUV300. Gill and co-driver Musa Sherif drove a measured race that did not go beyond an average speed of 70kmph, and with a consistent run, managed to hold off Arka Motorsport’s Karna Kadur.
Gill gained a lead on Day 1 that he would not relinquish for the rest of the rally. With a lead of 1 minute and 31 seconds, the driver looked safe. However, Karna Kadur fanned the flames with a superb drive to gain nine and ten seconds respectively in the first two stages of day 2. Post lunch, the Arka Motorsport driver made up a further 30 seconds on Gill. However, this would prove to be too little too late as Gill managed to saunter his way to a victory where he truly looked in control. Younus Ilyas and co-driver Milen George finished a distant third overall. In the other classes, Suhem Kabeer topped INRC 2 after a disqualification for Chetan Shivram while Syed Salman won in INRC 3 after Jahaan Singh Gil was disqualified for a technical infringement. It was also a good day for women in motorsport, as Pragathi Gowda and co-driver Trisha Alonkar finished second in the JNRC category, a further boost to the participation and success of women in racing in India.
Speaking about his victory, Gill said, “I always love to be right up there but it’s okay as I know the situation and condition that we are in. There’s no point risking it as we have had a terrible last few rallies. I don’t want to go back into that scenario for myself and the team because there’s so much hard work that has gone into it. It’s a new team and together we are all working on the car for the first time. It’s not easy at all but, fortunately, I have got the right set of technical experts with the same mindset.”