Competing in the final rally of the year in the FIA Rally Star Program, Gill was the fastest driver in the Lausitz Rally in Germany, finishing over a minute ahead of his five other teammates.

In that event, Gill also finished third in the Rally3 class as well as sixth outright in the event as a whole.

Gill’s performance on the German gravel did no harm to his chances to be returning to the FIA Rally Star program in 2024, as he was the only driver to finish every event for the whole season, despite many mechanical dramas.

“The Lausitz Rally was a great way to end the season in the Ford Fiesta Rally3,” Gill explained. “Our event went pretty much to plan and we were really happy with our result.”

Then, just six days later, Gill was driving his Subaru Impreza WRX in Canberra, where he won Production Cup and finished fourth outright in the final round of the Australian Rally Championship.

Gill was the fastest Rally Star crew at the Lausitz Rally.

He tested the car prior to the Rally of Canberra after getting off the plane just 10 hours earlier.

Gill’s performance in Canberra was superb. Returning to a car he hadn’t driven in over 12 months, adapting back to the vehicle with very limited testing was an impressive feat.

His main rival in the event was with 2016 Australian Rally Champion and current Extreme-E racer Molly Taylor for the Production Cup lead.

“Saturday in Canberra was a game of bravery,” Gill said.

“In the opening stage we lost a fair chunk of time due to catching the dust of another competitor – we couldn’t see more than 30 meters in front of us for few kilometres.

“After that, we had a clean run and I got more and more comfortable with the car again, and we set some good times.”

Good times they were, as Gill took a third fastest stage time on the final stage of the day, which was enough to jump into fourth outright and first in class.

At the end of day service, the team were faced with a few niggling issues that they were unable to fix in the allotted service time.

On Sunday, Gill was again impressive despite the small mechanical issues and held onto his fourth outright and first in Production Cup.

“The Rally of Canberra was the perfect way to finish the season for us,” he said.

“We actually surprised ourselves with our pace across the weekend, so we were really happy to finish fourth and first in Production Cup.

Gill in the final meters of his fourth place, first Production Cup result in Canberra.

“It was great to come home to an event where there was no pressure, and I could just enjoy driving the car and being around my team and my mates.

“We had a lot of people and sponsors support us and enable us to do this event so I’m super grateful for all of them.

“Of course, my co-driver Dan needs all the praise in the world. He’s the one who has supported me most this year and I cannot wait to continue this partnership into 2024 and beyond.”

Gill now awaits the decision of the FIA on the drivers who will progress through to the second stage of the program.

Of the six FIA Rally Star drivers from 2023, four will be chosen to progress into the Junior World Rally Championship for 2024.

An announcement is expected to be made in the coming week.

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Matthew Whitten

Matt is the third of the RallySport Magazine crew. He is an avid rally fan and aspiring co-driver.
Matt is the third of the RallySport Magazine crew. He is an avid rally fan and aspiring co-driver.

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