CS Santhosh and Gaurav Gill
Double Asia Pacific Rally champion Gaurav Gill and two-time Dakar Rally finisher CS Santosh are hoping not to find themselves all at sea when they slip behind the wheel of a racing boat for next weekend’s maiden P1 Powerboat Indian Grand Prix of the Seas in Mumbai.
Perfectly at ease cresting gravel-strewn jumps or racing up tall desert dunes, negotiating their way around a tight twisting course in the choppy waters off Marine Drive will present Gill and Santosh with a whole new challenge.
“I’ve been driving for so many years… the only thing which is common here is probably the steering wheel and the big gas pedal,” Gill told reporters at a press conference to unveil the teams and crew participating in the event.
“It’s something that I have to learn and a lot of things that I have to unlearn.”
Off-road motorcycle ace Santosh will have even more to unlearn. “(Riding a) motorcycle is totally different from being in a chassis. But I have good instincts and I’ll learn as much as I can,” he said.
Gill and Santosh will be up against a multi-national crew of hardened boat racers, but the duo have spent time in the United Kingdom training with seven-time world champion Neil Holmes and should be well prepared.