The day one was marred by crashes and breakdowns but Gill exhibited his driving skill and acumen to take the opening day''s honours.
The JK Tyre Motorsport stalwart’s car too bore the brunt of the K-1000 Rally’s punishing stages along with many other favourites but he still managed to be ahead of the 50-strong pack.
Gill had to endure mental trauma when he crashed into a trespassing motorcycle carrying three people, including a minor, during the rally in September and all three died.
He, along with the wily Musa Sherif, won SS1 and SS3 and finished fourth in SS2 and third in SS4 to garner a healthy lead of almost 50 seconds going into the second and final day.
His teammate Karna Kadur (Nikhil Pai), coming on the back of two disappointing rounds, showed his mettle to take the second position behind Gill in the INRC class.
Championship leader Fabid Ahmer, an MRF driver, drove steadily in each of the four stages and was sixth at the end of the day.
In the INRC 3 class, Chetan Shivram (Dilip Sharan) surprised the category leader Fabid, taking 54:28.500 minutes for his four stages.
The INRC 4 saw Vaibhav Marate suffering a setback, withdrawing from the first stage itself after a mechanical problem. He should, however, be back in action on Sunday. PTI AT AT
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI