Gill in fray for Pirelli programme

July 3rd, 2008 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

By Anand Philar
Chennai, July 3 (IANS) Indian rally champion Gaurav Gill has set his sights on securing a drive in the 2009 World Rally Championship (WRC) series through the Pirelli Star Driver programme that was launched this year by the Italian tyre giant. Pirelli, the official tyre supplier for WRC, is in the process of identifying five young drivers, all below 27 years of age, on the basis of their performances in the FIA regional series, including the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), in which Gill is currently participating in Team MRF colours.

Besides one each from Middle-East, Asia Pacific and Africa, two will be chosen from the European championships.

“The selection will be based on consistency in timings. The selection of the driver from Asia Pacific region will be done on the basis of performances in the Rally of Malaysia later this year. I have already registered for the programme and hopefully, I will be selected,” said 26-year old Gill here Thursday.

The chosen five will get to do six rounds of the WRC next year in the Super 2000 class and they will be put through special training programme as also a possible test session with a WRC factory team.

If selected, Gill, who made his APRC debut last year, will be the only second Indian after Naren Kumar to break into the WRC. Naren made his debut this year in a Subaru Impreza with full sponsorship from Bangalore-based software company, Sidvin CoreTech.

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