Gill has won all three of his APRC titles in ŠKODA cars (a FABIA S2000 in 2013 and a FABIA R5 in 2016 and 2017). This year he was driving alongside Belgian co-driver Stéphane Prévot for the ŠKODA MRF team, who also secured the Co-Drivers’, Manufacturers’ and Teams’ Awards respectively. His FABIA R5 was prepared and run by Racetorque Engineering, which has prepared the ŠKODA MRF cars for each of last six years they have won the APRC title.

ŠKODA MRF Team at Asia-Pacific Rally Championship 2017
ŠKODA MRF Team at Asia-Pacific Rally Championship 2017

This season, Gill faced a stern new challenge in the form of his ŠKODA MRF teammate Ole Christian Veiby.

The APRC got underway this year in New Zealand at the International Rally Whangarei and it proved to be a fierce contest between Gill and Veiby. Veiby took an early lead in the first leg as both drivers had to contend with heavy rain that made the surfaces slippery. Conditions improved on the final day and Gill began to charge, but still had 23 seconds to make up with just three stages remaining. Then a technical issue cost Veiby time and a late arrival at a checkpoint meant a time penalty too. That gave Gill the advantage and he closed out victory by a margin of just over two minutes.

Next up was the National Capital Rally in Australia and it was a similar story again as Gill and Veiby battled at the head of the field. The lead swapped hands between the two several times but then at the evening service on day 1, Gill made some setup changes which didn’t work out. As a result, Veiby was able to widen the gap on day 2 and won his maiden APRC event, while Gill finished as runner-up.