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Britain’s Alister McRae, driving for Team Proton Motorsports, finished first in the Super Sprint on Friday as the 2011 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) Huafei Zhuangyuan Cup Longyou Stop roared off in Longyou County, Zhejiang Province.

McRae won the sprint in one minute and 44.3 seconds, followed by Soueast Motor Kumho Team’s Jari Ketomaa and McRae’s teammate Chris Atkinson.

The 1.82-kilometer super sprint at the Shiyuan two-lane track became more challenging because of the rain on Friday.

McRae and Atkinson, first and second in the APRC’s drivers’ standings were the first two to start the race on the gravel surface. McRae pipped teammate Atkinson and was only one second ahead of the second-placed Ketomaa.

“It’s OK today, not any problems, during the race in the stage, we met some more mud, so we were a little bit cautious. We will flat out and run out of the best results with full of speed tomorrow.”

Rifat Sungkar of Indonesia, representing Team Pertamina Cusco Racing and third in the APRC’s drivers’ standings, finished fourth, two seconds behind the winner. He echoed with Atkinson’s opinion, saying the wet track posed a great challenge to the drivers.

Ketomaa’s teammate, Nathan Quinn, of China’s Soueast Motor Kumho Team, finished sixth. The Australian said after the competition that he needed more time to adapt to his new car. China’s Fan Fan and Yuan Hao of the Kumho Wanyu Team both completed the sprint.

After the SS1, the drivers will have to complete six stages tomorrow (Saturday) in Sanmenyuan, Sheyang and Hengshan on mixture surfaces of concrete and gravel roads, and the intermittent rain will bring more variables.

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