Indian rally ace Gaurav Gill has been crowned as the champion of 2016 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship winning all rounds of the season. Gill won the Rally India on Monday, the final round of the season held at coffee plantations near Chikmagaluru. Gill with co-driver Glenn Macneall won the rally in their Skoda Fabia R5 beating Mike Young for more than 11 minutes. Skoda also sealed its fifth title in a row in the manufacturers' and drivers' championships with the final race win.
It was Gill's Skoda MRF team-mates Fabian Kreim and Frank Christian who initially took the lead on Saturday's only special stage. However, the duo's run lasted until the fourth stage on Sunday, which the German rally champions were unable to finish due to a damaged suspension. After that, Gill was untroubled and won all twelve stages on day two. Kreim returned to the rally on Monday and won three of the final four stages to climb back into fifth place. However, it was Gaurav Gill who took a popular victory after 225 kilometres against the clock.
Gill, 35-year old from Delhi, had already sealed the 2016 APRC drivers title, his second since 2013, before the final round. He won Rally Whangarei, New Zealand, Rally Queensland, Australia, Rally Zhangye, China, Rally Hokkaido, Japan and Rally Malaysia prior to the final win in India. With the complete sweep of the season, he has become the first competitor to achieve the rare feat of winning all the rounds of an FIA Rally championship.
"This victory in my home country is the icing on the cake at the end of an outstanding 2016. I would like to say a special thank you to the ŠKODA MRF team, which has always done a perfect job. It is thanks to this that I was able to add a second APRC title to the one I won in 2013," Gaurav Gill commented on his victory.