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Subaru driver Cody Crocker has taken the honours on day one of Rally Malaysia, establishing a 30 second lead over Japan’s Toshi Arai, also driving an Impreza WRX STI.

The superb performance on the opening day of competition means that the Victorian is well placed to win the Malaysian round of the Asia-Pacific Championship for the second year in a row.

Victory on Sunday will mean Crocker, and co-driver Ben Atkinson, will have won ten events from their ten starts in the APRC, and it will be their fourth straight win for the Singapore-based MotorImage team this year.

But Crocker, who drove superbly yesterday in the trying heat, is taking nothing for granted with another testing day ahead tomorrow.

"Today was really tough going, but at least second time around in Malaysia we knew what to expect and had a plan to cope with the conditions," Crocker said.

"We started conservatively looking to build consistency across the day. After the first two stages we were well placed, but trailed Toshi (Arai) by ten seconds. We had a top run on the third stage which took us to the lead and that really set us up for the remainder of the day."

Crocker has a 55 second lead over Japan’s Katsuhiko Taguchi and a two minute 7.0 second buffer over Jussi Valimaki, his nearest two rivals for the APRC title this year.

Sunday sees another six special stages across 79 competitive kilometres.

RESULTS – END OF LEG ONE – RALLY MALAYSIA

1, Cody Crocker, 01:50:56

2, Toshihiro Arai, 01:51:26

3, Katsuhiko Taguchi, 01:52:51

4, Jussi Valimaki, 01:53:03

5, Naren Kumar, 01:55:00

6, Rifat Sungkar, 01:55:12

7, Gaurav Gill, 01:57:11

8, Brian Green, 01:59:49

9, Subhan Aksa, 02:06:26

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