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Gaurav Gill becomes 2013 APRC champion

Martin Holmes  | Updated: November 05, 2013, 03:12 PM IST

MRF Skoda driver Esapekka Lappi from Finland won the APRC China Rally, final round of the FIA's championship, heading Indian teammate Gaurav Gill who clinched the Asia Pacific series. Only two APRC qualifying drivers entered the event, with Gill gaining the title before the event started when the only remaining title challenge (the New Zealander Toyota Vitz driver Michael Young), although entered, his Japanese Cusco team failed to travel to China.

Gaurav Gill and co-drive Glenn MacNeall are 2013 Asia Pacific Rally ChampionsGaurav Gill and co-drive Glenn MacNeall are 2013 Asia Pacific Rally Champions

Gill took the lead on the short initial superspecial, Lappi pulled ahead on the first orthodox stage, Gill was 1.5 seconds ahead after the next stage before Lappi finally established himself ahead. The interest in the race ended on stage six when Gill stopped to change a flat tyre.

On Day 2, Gill then suffered transmission trouble and his car reverted to two-wheel drive. The event was based at Longyou southwest of Shanghai, using stages which were gravel and concrete based. Run concurrently with the APRC event was the penultimate round of the national CRC series and run to special technical rules. Chris Atkinson suffered steering and then differential problems with his VW Golf, Jari Ketomaa retired with engine problems with his Soueast team Mitsubishi V6 and Subaru driver Mark Higgins was excluded for not stopping at a control.

Winner was 2004 FIA World Production Car Champion Niall McShea (Skoda turbo) despite ALS problems, a puncture and clutch troubles. Second and third were Subaru drivers Han Han and Li Wei. Final Chinese round will take place at Mohe, the very northernmost city in the country.

APRC round 6/6 China Rally 1-3 November 2013

1 Lappi/Ferm Skoda Fabia S2000 3h01m46.9s
2 Gill/Macneall Skoda Fabia S2000 3h07m24.3s

2 starters 2 finishers

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