The perfect end to a magnificent year of rallying for ŠKODA in 2016: local hero Gaurav Gill claimed a much-celebrated home win at the final round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in India. Victory at the Rally India came three days after the new APRC champion’s 35th birthday, and completed a flawless record of six wins from six races.
The latest success in the impressive ŠKODA FABIA R5 also earned his co-driver Glenn Macneall the Co-Drivers’ title in the APRC. ŠKODA was already guaranteed its fifth title in a row in the Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ Championships coming into the final round of the season.
Thousands of fans had flocked through the coffee plantations to watch Indian rally hero Gill. However, it was his ŠKODA MRF team-mates Fabian Kreim / Frank Christian who initially took the lead on Saturday’s only special stage. Unfortunately, the exciting all-ŠKODA duel only 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.
As well as the triumph in the APRC, ŠKODA also won the continental championship in South America, courtesy of Gustavo Saba. Nasser Al-Attiyah won the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), also at the wheel of a ŠKODA FABIA R5, and a further nine national titles also went the way of ŠKODA drivers. However, the highlight was undoubtedly the historic victory in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in the WRC2 category for Lappi / Ferm in the FABIA R5, which made 2016 one of the most successful years in the 115-year history of ŠKODA Motorsport.
The number for the Rally India: 17
17 stages, 17 sage wins: the ŠKODA FABIA R5 once again ended the APRC season with a flawless record. As at the previous two rallies in the continental championship, in Malaysia and Japan, the two drivers in the high-tech four-wheel drive powerhouse left the opposition in their wake on every single stage of the Rally India. Rally winner Gill took 13 stage wins, while Fabian Kreim was the fastest man on four special stages.