SPEED MACHINE: Molly Taylor whips through a corner.
SPEED MACHINE: Molly Taylor whips through a corner. JEREMY ROGERS PHOTOGRAPHY

Gill and Swede dominate rally proceedings

SKODA teammates Gaurav Gill and Pontus Tidemand are set for a close finish in the International Rally of Queensland today after ending yesterday's stages at Imbil, north of the Sunshine Coast, less than five seconds apart.

India's Gill beat his Swedish teammate on time, but both drivers won five stages in round three of the 2015 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

New Zealander Mike Young was third in a Japanese-entered Subaru Impreza.

Crews face a further eight stages in the Imbil State Forest before a podium finish at the Mary Valley Showgrounds this afternoon.

Gill, the 2013 Asia Pacific champion, started the day confidently after setting up his car during pre-event testing to suit the slightly damp and slippery conditions.

But he struggled during the afternoon re-run of the morning stages and made two mistakes as the roads dried and became faster.

His MRF Tyres team will adjust the car overnight to match the changing grip.

"We spun on one stage and overshot a junction on another," he said, attributing the second excursion to a pace-note error.

"We braked when the notes said we should have, but it was too late and we had a massive overshoot," he said.

"Tomorrow we will try to do what we did today (winning stages) - but it's not about speed, it's about confidence."

Eli Evans is the top-placed Australian in the APRC, in fifth place in a Citroen DS3, and also leads the third round of the ECB Australian Rally Championship, which is being run concurrently.

He has a 3min55sec margin over second-placed Adrian Coppin (Citroen), while current standings leader Molly Taylor is more than six seconds off the lead after dealing with a water leak in her Renault.


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