On the weekend of Friday 5th to Sunday 7th November, the Asia Pacific Rally Championship heads to Longyou in China for the final round of the season, and the Championship decider.  

With three leading crews in the hunt for the prestigious title, the third placed Pertamina Rally Team duo of Rifat Sungkar and Scott Beckwith know they have it all to do in Longyou.  

Rally China is an event characterised by its tricky combination of challenging roads – from the steep and narrow mountain roads, to the tricky and slippery roads through bamboo forests and rice paddies.  The event is further complicated by the significant amount of concrete surfaces – almost 30% of the event- making tyre selection and car set up a real challenge.  

Longyou has a well deserved reputation as a tough and challenging event, which catches out the unwary – and is a fitting finale to the season.

For the Pertamina Team, the event and its challenges are well understood.  

“I have now done the event several times” noted Rifat, “and every year the roads and surface changes catch out many of the drivers.  I have a good record at this event, finishing every year I have come here, and achieving second of the Asia Cup competitors last year.  This experience I think will be a real bonus in our challenge to win the event.”

For Rifat, the challenge is made more difficult by the fact that he will be driving the less familiar left hand drive version of the reliable Mitsubishi Evo 9.  “For sure it makes it a little more difficult” commented Rifat “but I drove the same car last year, so have a good sense of where the car is on the road.  Perhaps that little bit of extra caution may have helped get the result last year – and might work in our favour again this year.”

The teams win in the most recent event in New Caledonia has put them in contention for the Asia Pacific title this year, although the crew note that they need a little bit of luck to be a serious contender.  “We could have done with the points we missed out on when the car stopped on us in Queensland” noted Scott, “but our plan in China is to drive as we have all year, focus on consistency and being there at the finish, and given the nature of this event, anything can happen from there”

It will be a special event in any case for co-driver Scott – this is his 50th start.  It’s a great scenario – to celebrate 50 events at the end of year event, and with a Championship on the line” said Scott “but mostly its just a good reason to reflect back on the reasons I love the sport, the great people I have met, and the fun I have had – and continue to have every time we get into the car”

To monitor the teams progress as the event unfolds, log onto fiaaprc.com for live results and event updates.

The team would not be able to compete and deliver the results they do without the ongoing generous support of their sponsors - Pertamina, Indonesia’s largest producer and retailer of quality fuels and lubricants, Oakley, Tag Heuer, and Bullocks Tools.
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