MRF to make its FIA World Rally Championship
Chennai, May 11 (PTI) Team MRF is set to make its debut in the FIA World Rally Championship with Indian driver Gaurav Gill taking part in four rounds this year.
Gill, the three-time APRC champion, will kick-off his campaign with Australian co-driver, Glenn Macneall at the Rally Italia Sardegna to be held from June 7 to 10. Team MRF will compete with a Ford Fiesta R5 run and developed by M-Sport, the 2017 FIA World Rally Champions.
The team will initially compete in four of the five gravel rallies on the calendar. Rally Italia Sardegna is the seventh round of the championship and a mid-season entry will give the team valuable experience as it prepares for the 2019 season, the release said.
About participating on the world stage, Gill, said: It is a huge honour for me to represent Team MRF in the World Rally Championship. I have always wished to participate in WRC and compete against the best in the world."
"I am training extremely hard in preparation for a tough challenge ahead and I hope to be on pace with the best in the world from day one," he added.
MRF Limited vice chairman and managing director Arun Mammen said: This is a huge step for MRF. We have been actively involved in promoting racing in India over the last 30 years and it gives us immense satisfaction to have a champion Indian racer in Gaurav Gill to spearhead our campaign in the World Rally Championship."
Apart from the rally in Italy, the team will participate in the Rally of Finland (July 26-29), Wales Rally GB (October 4-7) and Rally Australia (November 15-18), the release said.
Since 2018 is a development and familiarisation year to study the various parameters like terrains, tyres, cars etc., and as a part of this exercise a two-day private test session in Europe is scheduled at the end of this month.
Six rounds have already been completed in the 13-round championship and Gill will be taking part as a non-priority driver for the four rounds, the release said