TWENTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD OlE CHRISTIAN Veiby emerged victorious from a tough weekend that saw a lot of rain on the first day of the competition. Veiby and co-driver Stig Rune Skjaermœn are now placed first in the championship, having overtaken India’s Gaurav Gill (co-driver Stephane Prevot) by a scant two points. The dire conditions on day one took their toll on both drivers, as Gill collided with a tree stump, causing his Škoda Fabia R5’s steering to bend, and Veiby slid off the course twice.
However, Gill’s accident lost a lot of time, and he found himself a shade under 17 seconds behind his young team-mate at the end of day one. He powered on and made up for lost ground on day two, however, climbing up from third to finish second just less than five minutes behind Veiby. Jari Ketomaa (Ville Mannisenmali) of Mpart Sport finished third overall.
Speaking after the rally, Gill said, “For sure, it was one of my best drives, very fast and precise. I didn’t make any mistakes. I was driving at 110 per cent which was what I always wanted do and what all the top drivers do. We had amazing speed, good pace notes and made correct tyre choice. I drove my heart out and pushed the car beyond its limit. But the small mistake I made yesterday cost me the Rally or else we could have won.
“Starting the day, we were down by two minutes and 16 seconds to Jari. I wanted to get as close to OC [Veiby] as possible. I made mos