1-2 finish for Team MRFApril 25th, 2010 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS
Johor Bahru, April 25 (IANS) India’s Team MRF Tyres delivered a 1-2 finish at the Malaysian Rally 2010, the first round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, here Sunday with Katsu Taguchi winning the title ahead of Gaurav Gill, both driving Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 cars.
The 38-year old Taguchi (co-driver Mark Stacey), a former APRC champion, benefitted when leader Alistair McRae (co-driver Bill Hayes) dropped out on with a broken radiator to forsake his 27-second overnight lead over the Japanese veteran.
As well as Taguchi drove, it was Gill (co-driver Glen Macneall), the 28-year old from Delhi and Indian champion, who was the talk of the town with his spectacular performance yesterday when he was the quickest through the opening five stages, but fell behind due to overheating brakes.
The field also included three topnotch contenders, former World Rally drivers Chris Atkinson and Alistair McRae, and Karamjit Singh, the former World Rally production car champion. Both Atiknson and Malaysian Karamjit packed up on the first day.
McRae, the 39-year old Scotsman looked set to win the title going into the final day this morning. But a nasty bump at the end of Stage 10 with six more to go, left his Proton Satria Neo S2000 with a damaged radiator and he was forced into an early retirement.
Taguchi never looked back as he seized the opportunity to coast home to victory in a total time of three hours, 19 minutes, 07.7secs over the 589 km rally.
“Accidents do happen in rallying and it can cost you the race. It has happened to me before. Today was my day I suppose. But to be honest, I must admit that Alistair has a very fast car and for me to close the gap would have been quite difficult. What’s more, all of us have to face up to a very tricky venue with plenty of challenges, especially the condition of the track,” said the Yokohama native Taguchi.
In fact, there was no happy ending for the Proton R3 team after all. Things were looking up for them until Alistair’s mishap and the problems suffered by their other entrant, Chris Atkinson (co-driver Stephane Prevot) whose car suffered an electrical failure.
‘But that’s rallying. You can have a perfect day and then you pray everything will be fine the next. But sometimes, it don’t work out that way,” said McRae.
Coming in third was Indonesia’s Rifat Sungkar in a Subaru Impreza WRX with Malaysia’s Muhammad Rafiq Udhaya, also in a similar vehicle, finishing fourth.
In fact Rafiq’s achievement had overshadowed that of the local favourite Karamjit Singh and his desire to win his 11th All-Malaysian Rally title. But endless problems to his eight-year old Mitsubishi Evo-8, put paid to his hopes.
- Team MRF hope to score with Skoda - Mar 29, 2012
- MRF team for APRC series - Apr 14, 2010
- Gill finishes seventh in Asia Pacific Rally - Jul 04, 2010
- Gaurav Gill in lead in Asia Pacific Rally - Jul 03, 2010
- MRF cars quickest in shakedown at Asia Pacific Rally - Mar 30, 2012
- Two more Indians head to Asia Pacific Rally Championship - Jun 10, 2011
- Atkinson wins it for MRF - Apr 01, 2012
- Gaurav Gill tops among Asian Rally drivers - Sep 08, 2011
- Injured Gill faces tough task in K-1000 Rally - Dec 02, 2010
- Aroor bags Overall honours in K-1000 Rally - Dec 05, 2010
- Gill set to clinch Rally of Maharashtra - Jun 26, 2010
- Naren Kumar tops in Coimbatore rally - Aug 08, 2010
- Gaurav Gill takes commanding lead at Odisha Rally - Dec 10, 2011
- Urs leaves MRF for Odisha Rally - Dec 08, 2011
- Gill set to take top honours in Maharashtra Rally - Jun 04, 2011
Tags: aprc, bill hayes, car champion, chris atkinson, co driver, early retirement, gill co, johor bahru, karamjit singh, lancer evo 10 cars, malaysian rally, mark stacey, mitsubishi lancer, mitsubishi lancer evo 10, proton r3, proton satria, rally championship, rally drivers, spectacular performance, world rally