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Subaru rally driver Cody Crocker has scored maximum points at Rally Malaysia to take a stranglehold on the race for the 2009 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

The three-time APRC champion was the outright winner and also set the fastest time on both days to score 16 points, taking his total from the four events contested to 63 points from a possible 64 points.

Across the four rounds of the season – in New Zealand, Australia, Japan and now Malaysia, - Crocker and co-driver Ben Atkinson have been faultless in the Motor Image Impreza WRX STI, and have a 27-point buffer over Japan’s Katsu Taguchi.

The Mitsubishi driver failed to add to his 36-point tally in Malaysia, after failing to finish the opening day and then crashing heavily on the second day.

Crocker’s MotorImage teammate, Emma Gilmour, is third in the series, two behind Taguchi on 34 points, She collected eleven points for her work on the weekend, finishing in second place outright.

It means that Crocker needs only a further five points from the remaining two events – in Indonesia and China - to secure a fourth-straight APRC title. He will be the first driver to achieve that feat.

The weekend saw one of the most-extraordinary rallies for many seasons.

The weather on Saturday was atrocious, leaving the roads almost impassable.

Of the registered APRC drivers, only Crocker and Gilmour made it to the end of the day.

On day two, both the Subaru drivers repeated the feat, and only Gaurav Gill managed to also get to the finish line. In fact, the Indian driver finished only 0.5 of a second behind Crocker on Sunday, having rejoined under SuperRally rules.

Crocker was delighted to walk away with his car intact and his record for the season near perfect.

“The roads were incredibly slippery, particularly on the opening day when it just bucketed down the whole time,” Crocker said.

“Today at least the rain stayed away, but the damage to the roads had already been done.

“It was a really tough weekend. Today the temperature hit 37 degrees, with high humidity, so to maintain condition and concentration takes a huge effort.

“But we now need only five points to make if four titles in a row. We like both Indonesia and China. We won’t take anything for granted, but we are in the box seat, and we won’t let this slip.”

The next round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship takes place in Indonesia, starting on October 3.

APRC Points after Rally Malaysia

1 Cody Crocker, Subaru, 63
2 Katsu Taguchi, Mitsubsihi, 36
3 Emma Gilmour, Subaru, 34

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