Can Crocker extend APRC lead?
- 15th August 2006, 9:36am
With the Rally HQ situated in the Zon Hotel, the route is quite compact, compared with the previous three rallies in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. The stages vary in length from 4.39km to
28.67km and take place on roads that run through palm-oil and rubber plantations on surfaces that are a mixture of baked clay or super slippery mud.
Without rain they can be extremely fast, but with a sudden tropical downpour, the roads turn into slippery jungle tracks. Average temperatures should be around 30 degrees Celsius, but can climb to 40 degrees with extreme humidity which make it very hard work for the rally crews.
All ten registered APRC competitors will be at Rally Malaysia, including Rifat Sumgkar from Indonesia. As the stages are quite similar to those in his home rally in Makassar, the conditions should suit both him and his team mate Subhan Aksa.
The driver to watch, however, will be Mitsubishi/MRF driver Katsu Taguchi who was Malaysian Rally Champion between 1996 and 1998. He is currently in second place in the Championship.
Australian Cody Crocker is leading the Championship, driving a Les Walkden-prepared Subaru Impreza. If he drives as consistently in Malaysia as he has done for the first half of the year, then his position shouldn’t be threatened.
In a similar Les Walkden-prepared car is Melbourne star driver, Eli Evans, who is expected to put in a good performance.
LEADING ENTRIES & CURRENT APRC POINTS
1. Cody Crocker (Australia) Subaru Impreza WRX, 48
2. Katsu Taguchi (Japan) Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX, 30
3. Rifat Sungkar (Indonesia) Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VIII, 27
4. Hiroshi Yanagisawa (Japan) Subaru Impreza WRX, 19
5. Eli Evans (Australia) Subaru Impreza WRX, 17
6. Dermott Malley (New Zealand) Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VIII, 12
7. Fan Fan (China) Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX, 12
8. Subhan Aksa (Indonesia) Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VIII, 7
9. Jarkko Miettenen (Finland) Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VIII, 6
10. Brian Green New (Zealand) Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX, 3
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