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More weekend rally news – November 8

RallySport Magazine | Australia's Best Rally Magazine
Akio Toyoda congratulating Subaru driver Norihiko Katsuta. Photo: Holmes

Norihiko Katsuta, father of Takamoto, who current is being trained in Europe as a future star rally driver by Toyota Gazoo Racing, won the Shinshiro Rally last weekend and won the 2017 Japanese Championship title for the eighth time.

Competing on the one-day concurrent Toyota Gazoo Racing Rally Challenge event for GT86 cars was Toyota President, Akio Toyoda, who finished the event fourth overall.

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The entry list for the 2017 East African Safari Classic Rally (Nov 23 – Dec 1) shows 35 competitors, including no fewer than 13 Porsche 911s.

Seeded number one is former World Rally Champion, Stig Blomqvist, who never won the Safari Rally during his professional career. This biennial event will be based at Mombasa.

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The penultimate round of the Argentino championship, the Rally Entre Rios, failed to give Marcos Ligato his longed-for final national title before his 40th birthday on November 22.

Although Ligato now leads the series by 71 points from Geronimo Padilla, he must now wait till the final round, the Gran Premio (8-10 Dec) at Cruz del Eje in Cordoba province, an event which issues supplemental championship points.

One notable title, however, was gained at Entre Rios. The Junior championship was clinched by Nadia Cutra, the first time a lady driver has won a national rally title in that country.

Immediately after Ligato’s birthday is the Atlantico Rally in Uruguay (24-26 November), final round of the FIA Codasur championship, in which Ligato is currently lying second, one point behind his Skoda teammate Gustavo Saba.

Martin Holmes is widely considered as world rallying's most experienced, and most respected journalist. Martin covers the WRC, ERC and all major rally championships around the world.


After two rounds in the Pacific, the 2018 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship moves to Asia and the International Rally of Johor. For championship leader Yuya Sumiyama from Japan, his goal is simply to finish and score points:

The AP4 rally car class in the Asia Pacific region is flourishing at a great pace. Back in 2002, however, Australia launched a ‘special’ class into the Australian Rally Championship that enabled Toyota to make a return to the national series.

Hyundai New Zealand has helped power Kiwi driver Hayden Paddon’s career in the World Rally Championship and now they are going to support the entire sport back home.


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