The final round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) season in India will be an exhibition for the ŠKODA brand and local hero Gaurav Gill. The Indian driver has already been confirmed as champion in the Drivers’ standings before his home rally, repeating his triumph of 2013. ŠKODA also arrives at the Rally India, which takes place from Saturday to Monday, with an unassailable lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship, meaning they are guaranteed a fifth consecutive APRC title.
One title is still up for grabs, in the Co-Drivers’ Championship: this is the scene of a duel between ŠKODA co-drivers Glenn Macneall and Frank Christian as they battle for the lead in the overall standings.
The final round of the season will be a special occasion for experienced driver Gaurav Gill, who has won all five of this season’s rallies so far. Thousands of home fans will celebrate the latest championship win for the national rally hero. He will also celebrate his 35th birthday on 2nd December, the day of the opening ceremony at the Rally India.
Seventeen special stages over a total of 225.42 kilometres are scheduled for the three days of rallying, some of which run through coffee plantations. This will be a new experience for the second ŠKODA driver Fabian Kreim, who will end his first APRC season in India as runner-up.
Did you know that…
…the Rally India returns to the APRC calendar this year as the final round of the season, but last year it officially only formed part of the FIA Asia Cup?
A rally in India has been part of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) on many occasions. In the early years, it was the “Himalayan Rally” from 1988 to 1990. This was then followed by the “Rally India” in 2003 and 2004.
…the Rally India takes place around the town of Chikmagalur?
This is around 260 kilometres north of the metropolis of Bangalore.
…this year’s APRC champion elect Gaurav Gill has won the championship before?
He took overall victory with the ŠKODA FABIA SUPER 2000 in 2013. He was the first Indian driver to claim overall victory in the APRC.
…the ŠKODA MRF team has provided the winning driver in the continental championship every year since 2012?
The title winners since 2012 have been Chris Atkinson (2012), Indian Gaurav Gill (2013) and then works drivers Jan Kopecký (2014) and Pontus Tidemand (2015).
…ŠKODA will also win the title of best manufacturer for the fifth time in a row?
The Czech car maker leads the overall standings with 195 points, and cannot be caught by Subaru (128).
…India has 1.292 billion inhabitants, making it the second-most heavily populated country in the world after China (1.373 billion)?
India is the seventh-largest country on the planet.