Crocker caps off perfect APRC season
- 11th November 2007, 7:52pm
Crocker and co-driver Ben Atkinson had already claimed the APRC driver’s championship even before the Chinese round, but today’s victory rounded out a season that saw the pair win five of the six rounds they contested.
Driving the MotorImage entered Impreza WRX STI, the reigning champion finished the two-day event in China one minute 29.8 seconds clear of UK driver David Higgins, with another Chinese driver, Lang Xu, a further one minute 2.1 seconds back in third.
Crocker and Atkinson have now taken top points in 11 of the 12 APRC events they have contested over the past two years.
Over the last decade, Crocker has created one of the most impressive records of any Australian motorsport participant, winning nine of the ten championships he has contested.
Crocker won four Group N Australian Rally Championships (ARC) from 1998 to 2001, three outright ARC titles from 2003 to 2005, and has now added two straight APRC titles - 2006 and 2007.
The only year he missed out on taking the top position was in 2002, the year the entire ARC went production class, and the Melbourne driver finished a close second to the legendary Possum Bourne.
But the focus across the weekend in China was securing the APRC Manufacturers’ title.
“We started the day determined to finish, and finish well,” Crocker said. “We concentrated on producing the same pace as yesterday, not wanting to push too hard, but not wanting to slacken off either, as that’s when mistakes can happen.”
“In the end it was a very comfortable pace with no risk.”
“There was over three hours of competitive driving across the weekend, so it was really challenging. At times the average speeds were around 50kph. It was so tight and twisty and then really cut up on the second and third passes of a stage.”
“This has capped off a fantastic year for us and the whole MotorImage team.
“Securing the Manufacturers’ title for Subaru gave us a real focus for the weekend.”
“Subaru have invested a great deal into my career and into rallying, and it is fantastic to be able to produce the goods for them when it counted.”
“Everyone with the MotorImage team is naturally delighted, and I must say, they have given Ben and me a fantastic car and each event this year, and they deserve a lot of accolades.”
“This is not an easy championship to win, so to win it so well is a great credit to the whole team.”
Rally China – Final Top Five
1 C Crocker/B Atkinson, Subaru
2 D Higgins/I Thomas, Mitsubishi, +1:29.8
3 L Xu/ Y Huang, Mitsubishi, +2:31.9
4 C Liu/A McLaughlin, Subaru, +2:25.6
5 J Salo/M Stenberg, Subaru, +5:10.8
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