Subaru rally driver Cody Crocker has once again demonstrated his class, taking the Rally of Canberra title for a fourth straight year and gathering the maximum 16 points on offer in his quest for the 2008 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship title.

Crocker set up the win on Saturday, finishing the opening 110 competitive kilometres with a decisive 38.8 second advantage over his nearest rival, fellow-Australian Scott Pedder.

Today Crocker and co-driver Ben Atkinson just powered on in their MotorImage Impreza WRC STI. Not only did they run out a convincing winner of the title, leading home fellow Subaru driver Dean Herridge by two minutes 51.6 seconds, they also set the fastest time for Leg Two. With three bonus points for winning each day and a further ten for their victory in the rally, Crocker now has 16 points in the quest for a third straight APRC title.

Herridge leads the championship on 21 points, after amassing 11 points in New Caledonia, where Crocker did not compete, and a further ten points in his nation’s capital.

Next on the APRC points table is Japan’s Katsuhiko Taguchi. He has a total of 18 points after taking top honours in New Caledonia and a further two points today for finishing runner-up to Crocker in Leg Two, albeit by just one second. His Mitsubishi had mechanical problems on the opening day.

The one-two finish was like old times for Crocker and Herridge, who for years shared the limelight as part of the formidable Subaru Rally Team Australia. But Crocker now drives for the Singapore-based MotorImage team while Herridge is with the Japanese outfit, Cusco Racing.

Crocker was delighted to kick-start his title defence with such a dominating performance.

“This makes it four Rally of Canberra titles from five years, which is really fantastic,” Crocker said.

“To be on the pace first time back in the car after such a long break between events gives us plenty of confidence going forward.”

“This was a really tough event to win. Just to finish was an achievement. The second pass over the stages was really difficult, it was a long event, there were plenty of rocks and you can throw in a few kangaroos as obstacles as well.”

“So it will go down as one of our toughest events and one of our most satisfying wins.”

Top 5 Results – International Rally of Canberra

1 Cody Crocker (Australia), Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2 Dean Herridge (Australia), Subaru Impreza WRX STI, +2mins 51.6secs (diff to leader)
3 Hiroshi Yanagisawa (Japan), Subaru Impreza WRX STI, +6:15.7
4 Rifat Sungkar (Indonesia), Subaru Impreza WRX STI, +7:06.3
5 8 Jean-Louis (France), Subaru Impreza WRX STI, +7:52.9

Top 3 APRC Points (after two rounds)

Dean Herridge, 21
Katsuhiko Taguchi 18
Cody Crocker 16

Pic: Hubble Photografix

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