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In 1999 Katsu Taguchi won the Asia Pacific Rally Championship. The Japanese driver snatched the win at the last moment from his countrymen Yoshihiro Kataoka. In 2010, 11 years later Taguchi is leading the championship with 100 points, but this time he's watching over his shoulder because his team-mate, Gaurav Gill, is only three points behind.

This weekend  (5-7 November)  is the final round of the 2010 APRC and one of these drivers should be crowned the APRC drivers champion.

Prior to the start Taguchi said, "For so long we couldn't get the championship, we have bad luck for a couple of years. We have good chance for this year, so we will try. There are no team orders at all, so good fight. Last couple of years it was raining so speed is not very fast, but this time road is dry so car average speed is maybe 10 kilometre per hour faster, so we don't know how hard to go, some big bump, or stone and so much faster. Anything can be happen."

Gill is equally cautious. " It's not going to be flat out for sure, because it's a very long rally, very tough and very rough. May the best man win."

What would it mean for you to win the APRC drivers title? Well it would be a dream come true, something I've always wanted to do, win championships outside my country. Today I am in a position to that, so definitely going to give it my best".

And while it maybe a long shot, if neither of the MRF drivers finish,  Indonesian Rifat  Sungkar is there to pick up the trophy providing he wins outright.  "Definitely we will try our best and China is always a very tough event, different culture, different roads. Different stages this year with 30% concrete in total and I've never driven on concrete in my life, this is completely new for us."

What would it mean for you to win the Asia Pacific driver title? Suddenly my heart is shaking. I don't know what to say but that the aim of doing APRC for last five rounds, being on the podium is such an honour for us, but winning the APRC would be such a great honour, not for me but definitely for Indonesia."

Hoping to spoil the party are the Proton and Cusco teams. With no chance of winning the championship they will be going for outright wins.

Driver Points after 5 rounds

1.Katsu Taguchi JPN 100

2.Gaurav Gill IND 97

3.Rifat Sungkar IDN 69

4. Alister McRae GBR 41

5. Hayden Paddon NZL 39

6.Hiroshi Yanagisawa JPN 26

Further news: www.aprc.tv

Photo: APSM.tv

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