New Delhi: India’s governing body for motorsport (FMSCI) on Saturday dismissed reports that ace rally driver Gaurav Gill had misrepresented his achievements to the Arjuna Award selection committee but members including Vicky Chandhok called for a thorough inquiry into the matter.
Three-time three Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) winner Gill had become the first motorsport driver to be conferred the Arjuna award earlier this year.
However, according to a media report, there were inconsistency in his application that he submitted to the selection committee for Arjuna Awards consideration.
The report said Gill had claimed in his 13-page application, which was signed by FMSCI Secretary general Rajan Sayal, that he “won 11 stages of the World Rally Championship” in 2018 but the claim was dismissed by the World body FIA (F d ration Internationale de l’Automobile).
“A malicious, motivated report on Gaurav Gill’s Arjuna Award application is doing the rounds. Secretary-General, FMSCI denounces it in the strongest terms possible as it is meant to mislead people who don’t understand motorsports,” FMSCI wrote on its twitter handle.
“Gaurav’s application categorically mentioned that he took part in the WRC2 category of the World Rally Championship in 2018. And yes, he won 11 stages in it.”
Chandhok, who sits on the FMSCI council and is a former president, said Gill was the most deserving candidate for Arjuna but the body should probe the matter thoroughly.
For the same reason, he has also written a letter of FMSCI president J Prithiraj, a copy of which is in possession of PTI.
“I sincerely hope there was no fraud committed for the sake of our sport and actually pray that everything was true in the application since the consequences of the opposite will be very hard hitting to the persons involved,” he said in his letter to the president.
Chandhok, who was instrumental in bringing Formula 1 to India, later told PTI: “There may or may not be misrepresentation of facts but it needs to examined thoroughly.”
Last year, Gill had participated in four rallies, one each in Italy, Finland, Wales and Australia as an unregistered driver in World Rally Championship 2 and won 11 stages.
WRC2 is a second tier competition. It is a companion rally series to the World Rally Championship, and is driven on the same stages.
Last week, Gill and his navigator were booked on the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder after their car rammed into a motorcycle during the National Rally Championship race in Rajasthan and killed a couple and their son.