Johor Bahru: Gaurav Gill and his MRF teammate Glenn Macneall finshed second in the Malaysian Rally, the fourth round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, here on Sunday.
Gill and Macneall ended runner ups behind MRF teammates Pontus Tidemand and his co-driver Emil Axelsson as the Swedes swept to their third win of the season.
The 24-year old Tidemand, driving the Skoda Fabia S2000, finished one minute, 56.5 seconds ahead of Gill and Macneall.
Gill, though, comfortably won the first round of Asia Cup, sparing over 19 minutes to Fan Fan (Junwei Fang) from China who drove the Mitsubishi Evo EX for South-East Motor team.
Tidemand, making his APRC debut, had triumphed in Australia and New Zealand, and today's win took his tally to 147 points while 33-year old Delhi-based Gill, winner of the first round in New Caledonia, moved to 104.
With just two more rounds of APRC to be run in Japan (Sept 18-20) and China (Oct 30-Nov 1) and a maximum of 78 points on offer, Tidemand has taken a stranglehold on the championship leaving Gill a mathematical chance of claiming the title he had won in 2013.
Leading by 01:19.9 overnight, Tidemand kept the throttle down on Sunday when six more Stages were run over much shorter distance than on Saturday as the Swede was quickest in five loops while Gill, driving in heavy rains, took the last Stage of the day.
A disappointed Gill, winner here last year, had problems with the rear differential of his Skoda Fabia S2000 besides overheating and loss of grip.
"The rear differential stopped working during the first loop and there was no grip. So, I couldn?t drive normally. Then we had heavy rains during the second loop, but we were quicker in the last Stage," Gill said.
"Overall, it was the worst weekend of my life with all the problems we had due to grass getting into the radiator grill and all that. I now look forward to the remaining two rounds," added Gill who did not participate in the conventional champagne ceremony as a mark of respect for FMSCI president Bharath Raj who passed away in Bengaluru yesterday.