With an insatiable appetite for speed

With a successful streak at the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, City-based rallyist Gaurav Gill achieved the coveted APRC title recently. Renewed with the success, he now has his eyes set on World Rally Championship.

Speaking to Metrolife, the international-level sportsman talks about his love for moto-sports and the factors that shaped the contours of his career, in the Capital.
“It was a natural progression of sorts, the love for rallying is in my DNA,” says the 32-year-old rallyist, when asked about what inspired him to take up this sport. Taking a cue from his maternal uncle, Dicky Gill, Gaurav got into moto-sports in his formative years. “I was 16 when I started motocross biking before switching to car rallying at 18.” If not a rallyist, what would he have been? Taking a moment to think, he says, “It’s a tricky question but I might have landed in my family’s manufacturing business. But for the passionate and adventurous person that I am, that closed environment wouldn’t have been the right place to be in.” No two ways about it! As this enthusiastic sportsperson gets an adrenaline rush only when he ‘slides and rallies in the winding mountains filled with thick gravel, at an average of 115 km per hour’. 

Often spotted training around Nehru Park or Lodhi Gardens, he reveals his fitness regimen saying, “Rallying is quite an underestimated sport in India. Exerting against the gravitational force for 14 to 16 hours at length, the neck, lower back, and arms of a driver get affected. So, I just cannot hit the gym and lift weights to build my strength and endurance, I need a specific body-functional training programme to maintain my body for this sport.”

A true-blue Delhiite at heart, Gaurav believes, “There’s no better city than Delhi, at least in our country. I just cannot imagine living anywhere outside. I love the greenery, our street food. We can now even boast of the best international racing circuit- Buddh International Circuit; it is a pity that F1 races wouldn’t be happening again here.”

To widen the scope of racing as a career in India, Gaurav offers training to youngsters around the country. He states emphatically that “You need to catch them as young as 15 and hone their skills. A racing licence can be obtained at the age of 15. These youngsters are monitored and trained in closed circuits, which takes care of the
security aspect.”

Expressing his vision, he says, “I am a patriotic guy and I want to give back to the sport that brought me glory and fame”.  The rallyist adds, “But if  you want to promote a sport at the grassroot level, you have to make it economical for people. My idea of a non-profit training institute entails minimalistic costs, to be borne by the rallyist. But the maintenance of the vehicle itself costs a lot to the rallyist.”  

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