Gill wins New Caledonia as Atkinson extends APRC lead

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 29th April, 2012 - 1:27pm

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Gill wins a wet and wild Rally New Caledonia as Atkinson extends his Championship lead

Gill wins a wet and wild Rally New Caledonia as Atkinson extends his Championship lead

MRF Skoda driver Gaurav Gill and Australian co-driver Glenn MacNeall have won the latest round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship in New Caledonia.

After dominating the opening leg, team-mates Chris Atkinson and Stephane Prevot had to settle for second after an electrical problem saw the pair lose over six minutes on the event’s 15th stage this morning.

“We lost heaps of time on SS15 stopping twice after the car just died with an electrical issue,” Atkinson told Speedcafe.com.

“It’s been a very wet rally which created several deep water crossings and water got into the electrics of the car.

“The remaining stages today weren’t an issue in terms of water so it’s a shame we couldn’t produce the overall win but it’s great Gaurav and Glenn could pick up their first win for the year and make it two-from-two for the MRF Tyres Skoda team.”

Weather played its part, heavily throughout the event with hot sunny skies turning to tropical down-pours in the afternoon causing several punctures and mechanical issues amongst the field.

The winner of today’s leg was 2011 Champion Alastair McRae who re-entered this morning after retiring from Leg 1 on Friday. The Scotsman picked up seven valuable Championship points with three of six stage wins.

Unfortunately for McRae’s Proton Motorsports teammate and Championship hopeful PG Andersson, his day was cut very short when a mechanical failure on the opening stage of the morning forced him out of the rally, putting a dent in his chase for the Championship.

66-year old Kiwi driver Brian Green in his Mitsubishi Lancer battled all the elements to secure third overall for Rally New Caledonia this weekend.

Rallye de Nouvelle Caledonie – Overall Results:

Pos

Driver

Team

Diff

1

Gaurav Gill

MRF Skoda

2

Chris Atkinson

MRF Skoda

+4m52.2s

3

Brian Green

Brian Green Motorsport

+15m45.7s

2012 APRC standings:

Pos

Driver

Team

Points

1

Chris Atkinson

MRF Skoda

64

2

Gaurav Gill

MRF Skoda

56

3

Brian Green

Brian Green Motorsport

33

4

PG Andersson

Proton Motorsports

32

5

Alistair McRae

Proton Motorsports

23

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