Shannons is delighted to support Taylor Gill, Australian rallying's brightest young star. At just 19 years old, he has already been recognised as an Australian Rally Champion. He will compete in six European events in a Ford Fiesta Rally3 as the Asia-Pacific region’s representative in the FIA’s Rally Star Program.
In his second European rally, Australians Taylor Gill and Daniel Brkic have taken an impressive tenth outright and third in class in Rally Weiz over the weekend.
This is their second top 10 overall placing this year, adding to their tenth outright and first in the FIA Rally Star class in San Marino earlier this year.
For Gill, the event was a huge learning curve as it was his first time rallying on tarmac, with the tricky Austrian roads challenging the 19-year-old further.
“It was quite daunting to begin with actually,” Gill said.
“We completed a pre-event test on Wednesday and after that, I knew I was in for a tough weekend.
“Our test was very successful and it gave us lots to look out for during the rally.”
As it was pouring rain and as the shakedown tyres were included in his weekend tyre allocation, Gill chose not to complete the pre-event shakedown and save his tyres for the rally.
The opening day of the rally was five stages and just under 50km, and began cautiously for Gill as he found his feet and got to grips with the Ford Fiesta Rally3 on bitumen.
“Friday was challenging for us. Obviously it was all brand new, our first time driving to proper notes on tarmac, and our first time getting a proper rhythm, so we learned a huge amount.
“While we didn’t win a stage, on every stage we were either second or third, so we were content with that and knew where we could improve.”
At the completion of Friday, Gill sat third in class, 22.9 seconds behind the leading Abito Caparo, and 13.8 seconds behind second placed Romet Jurgenson.
Come Saturday, Gill would begin the day with the plan of closing the gap to the leaders, and continuing to improve his commitment to his notes.
That he did. The day’s first stage was cancelled, then Gill took a stage win on the second stage of the day and narrowed the gap to the leaders to 13.2 seconds.
“Saturday started well for us, as we continued to gain confidence, and took a stage win," he added.
“From there, we continued building the speed across the day and posted consistent times with the leaders.”
A big push on the last stage of the rally saw Gill win the stage by 7.1 seconds, closing the gap to second place to just 3.2 seconds.
In Saturday’s stages, Gill was just 2.2 seconds behind class winner Jurgenson,
A tenth outright and third in class finish is impressive on his first tarmac rally, but Gill knows that he and co-driver, Daniel Brkic, have lots they can do to get better.
“We were mostly happy with the result, but realise that if it had not been for some small mistakes, we could’ve been easily in second and maybe even fighting for the win.
“That is all part of the learning. We were not fast enough on the first day when we were finding our feet, but by the end of the rally we were more confident and pushing harder.
“Of course, we aren’t at the peak yet. I know we can be faster purely with better pacenotes. We will definitely be doing more pacenote practice before the next tarmac event.”