Aussie co-drivers celebrated ANZAC Day in winning style in Malaysia over the weekend with Mark Stacey, Glenn Macneall and Scott Beckwith taking out first, second and third respectively at the 2010 Rally Malaysia, Round 1 of the 2010 Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

The event was run in the palm plantations around Jahor Baru in southern Malaysia over the weekend of April 24 and 25. In typically hot and humid weather, and with technical and often treacherous roads, Rally Malaysia was as always a difficult and demanding rally for cars and crews. The added element of tropical monsoon downpours each day just made the event all the more challenging with teams trying to second guess the changing conditions and choose the tyres to best suit.

In the end, Katsu Taguchi with Mark Stacey alongside, drove a controlled event and were delighted to take out first place in their Evo X, while Gurav Gill and Glenn Macneall battled braking issues all weekend to take out second and deliver the perfect start to the championship for the MRF team. Rifat Sungkar, with Scott Beckwith co-driving, suffered a broken gearbox early on day 1, and with no ability to change it overnight, worked hard all weekend under threat of the gearbox completely disintegrating, to bring the car home and take third position.

Gill/Macneall and Sungkar/Beckwith also took out first and second for Asia Cup for the event, with local Muhammed Rafiq Uday taking third.

Other Aussies in action included Chris Atkinson in the Super 2000 Proton who suffered two electrical faults during the weekend, costing him a podium finish, but he managed to bring the new car home in fourth. Alistair McRae and Bill Hayes in the second Proton suffered a blown engine whilst leading on Day 2. Whilst not the outcome Proton were hoping for on their home event, there was much to be encouraged about with both cars showing how competitive they have the potential to be in the hands of McRae and Atkinson.

The Championship now moves to Japan for Round 2 at the end of May.


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