Indian¬†Team MRF Skoda driver Gaurav Gill clinched the FIA‚Äôs Asia Pacific Rally Championship title for the second time when he won the very hot Malaysian Rally, at Johor Bahru.
It was the fifth successive time a Skoda driver has been champion. Second overall came the non homologated Swedish Mitsubishi Mirage running under special local rules, driven by Jari Ketomaa. Gill‚Äôs teammate Fabian Kreim stopped on the first day wth gearbox troubles. Michael Young was lying second at the end of Day 1 but on the first stage of Day 2 he went off the road and his Subaru was stuck in a drainage ditch.
Two fellow Subaru drivers stopped and tried to retrieve the car but were unsuccessful. The heat affected many drivers. Japanese driver Makoto Kawahara collapsed. Ketomaa said it was almost impossible to breathe inside the car and the gear lever was too hold to touch.
‚ÄúIt was for me the toughest rally I ever did. On Day 1 we spent two hours on the stages in these conditions. The stages are so slow that air does not pass through the car‚ÄĚ. One APRC rally remains (India) in which the co-driver‚Äôs title will be decided.