Following a breakout performance at the Netier National Capital Rally, Taylor Gill will unfortunately miss next month’s Make Smoking History Forest Rally.
It’s a disappointing blow for the 18-year-old after he finished the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) season opener in a career-high placing of fourth.
Gill’s unavailability to attend the round comes as a result of the privateer entry being unable to gather the required funds for the event, which took a hit after the team’s truck broke down on the way to Canberra.
A late offer from Neal Bates Motorsport to transport the Subaru WRX gave Gill a glimmer of hope of making it to WA but the team decided to pull the plug and shift their focus entirely on Rally Launceston at the end of June.
Although disappointed he couldn’t be there, Gill’s main objective remains to win the White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup which allows for two drop rounds.
“We spent all of last week pricing up the round and unfortunately it just wasn’t going to work – even with Neal’s kind offer to transport our car up,” Gill said.
“With our truck blowing up on the way to Canberra, we felt it was more important to put all of the available funds towards that instead of going out to WA.
“I have heard many good things about the roads in WA and it looks amazing, so as much as I wanted to be there, it just couldn’t happen. But I will still be glued to the times and keeping tabs because we will be there next year.
“There isn’t much pressure on getting good results for the rest of the season even though we can’t make any more mistakes from an outright point of view and that’s because we’re focused more on the Production Cup, which is out of four rounds – so we have a couple of drop rounds up our sleeves still.
“With that said, we’ll still be gunning for the outright championship, but I am realistic that we don’t have much of a chance to challenge Harry Bates in our current car.”
While Gill may not have the self-assurance of title charge just yet, he has gained plenty of confidence from his result in the nation’s capital.
The outright fourth place and Production Cup win in his third attempt of the Canberra based rally showcased his raw talent and the car’s speed and how strong the combination can be when both are hooked up.
However almost a month on from the season opener, Gill has officially put the rally behind him and is now gearing up for a first crack at the iconic forestry roads of Launceston.
“I think we proved to everyone what we are capable of and I am really happy about that,” Gill added.
“The car went well and it really clicked. It’s such a hard rally so I am proud to have made it to the end mostly unscathed – apart from the issue on the Saturday morning.
‘Without my team working hard to get that issue fixed, no one would know who Taylor Gill is, so I am highly thankful to them and I think we all have the confidence of doing well in Tasmania.
“I have been watching all my on-boards over and over again and identified the things I need to improve at Tassie, which I am really looking forward to.
“Tasmania’s roads look great and much easier on the car compared to Canberra which is good. I am trying to do as much research because I have never been there before, I need to be really extensive with analysing.
“At this point I would say that Canberra is officially in the books, and I am now 100 per cent focused on Tasmania and getting a good result there.”
The 2022 Rally Launceston takes place in Launceston on 25-26 June.