This weekend's Malaysian Rally in Johor Bahru could be the championship decider of the 2016 Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). Indian driver Gaurav Gill said rain could play an important role in deciding the outcome of the rally.
Mandatory recce held on Thursday was canceled as most of the Special Stages were washed out due to poor weather condition. This damp condition is really tough for the drivers and the team members.
Gill said in a press conference, "It is going to be very tricky and difficult going since lots of rain is forecast for this weekend. So, it is not about just speed. We have to be careful. We have made a few changes to the car.
"After the Rally Hokkaido in Japan, we changed the engine and it still needs to be run in some more. We did some testing here on Wednesday and then today's Shakedown, but we are settling in nicely."
After Rally Hokkaido in Japan, Gill's Skoda Fabia R5's engine was changed and he is concerned about the new motor. "It still needs to be run in some more," he added.
The previous four rallies this season has been won by Gill and he is hoping to seal the title this weekend. He also wants to celebrate Diwali, but only after Sunday's race.
He said,"Diwali is a big festival for us back home in India, but for me, the fireworks can wait until the Rally is over on Sunday afternoon. I wish everyone a happy and safe Diwali, and a prosperous year ahead."
Gill leads the championship by 42 points ahead of his teammate Fabian Kreim. During yesterday's Shakedown event, the German went faster than Gill. But the Indian said that he was not taking any risks before the Rally.
The ceremonial flag-off for the rally is scheduled tonight. The total distance of the rally is 225.82 kilometres across 14 Special stages.
Back in 2013, Gaurav won the title and he could certainly win it this year too. If the conditions are poor or if Fabian wins, Gill will have to wait till the final round held in Chikmagalur, India.