Japanese driver Katsu Taguchi has won Rally Hokkaido, Round 2 of the 2010 Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

Taguchi's win is his second of the season, after winning the Malaysian Rally in April and it takes the MRF Tyres Mitsubishi driver to a commanding lead in the APRC drivers title.

Second, and only nine seconds off the lead, was Hiroshi Yanagisawa driving a Cusco-prepared Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10. Yanagisawa pressured Taguchi all the way and was always in contention.

A disappointed third was Indian Gaurav Gill. The Indian driver was the overnight leader, but this morning hit a snow marker damaging the rear suspension. In the next stage the suspension broke loose and Gill was lucky to make it back to service and finish the event.

The event overall was won by Toshi Arai in a Subaru.

Yuya Sumiyama was fourth in the second Cusco Mitsubishi, with wildcard entry Fuyuhiko Takahashi, fifth. After not finishing in Malaysia Tomohide Hasegawa secured points and fifth place in the Asia Cup.

Proton were disappointed to not finish the event, after engine woes put Chris Atkinson's car out and Alister McRae hit a large rock on Saturday, breaking the sump and retiring. Both returned on Sunday to set good times, and the team is looking forward to the next event in Whangarei New Zealand.

Other facts:

- Taguchi's win was the first event for new co-driver, Australian Chris Murphy

- Speeds of over 210 kph were common on both days

- As the first time the event has been run in early spring, snow was a common sight on the side of the road.

- Four wildcards were able to enter the event, two finished - Yayu Sumiyama and Fuyuhiko Takahashi.

Full results: www.rally-hokkaido.com

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