Rally of Canberra / FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship - Round 1 of 6
Communique 3 9 May 2004 Leg 2

MITSUBISHI DRIVERS KREMER & TAGUCHI TAKE POINTS IN SEASON OPENER
Kremer & Taguchi second and third respectively in APRC standings
Lancer Evolution driver Juha Kangas second overall in the Rally of Canberra

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
Armin Kremer / Timo Gottschalk
(Leg 2 - 9 May 2004)

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution driver Armin Kremer finished second of the registered contenders in the opening round of the 2004 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, the Rally of Canberra. The reigning regional champion powered his Lancer Evolution to sixth in the overall standings and kicks off his title defense with solid points in the series. Team-mate and 1999 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Champion Katsuhiko Taguchi finished third of the APRC crews, but Mitsubishi honors were upheld by flying Finn Juha Kangas who powered his Lancer Evolution to second overall after a hard-fought battle with outright rally winner Dean Herridge.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
Armin Kremer / Timo Gottschalk
(Leg 2 - 9 May 2004)
The renowned Rally of Canberra attracted a record number of entries this year, 48 crews taking the start of this prestigious Eastern Australia event. Two runs around a super special stage close to the heart of the city brought the action to the people, however the real battle took place in the spectacular forests around the national capital and the two-day event was fought out over a total of 14 gravel stages and 262.72 competitive kilometers.

Lancer Evolution driver Armin Kremer got off to a disappointing start, the German losing 7.8 seconds to championship rival Karamjit Singh in the opening stage when he got held up in dust. He then suffered a loss of power and grip and the team was also forced to change the gearbox at the end of the leg when he lost fourth gear in stage nine. In the second leg, Kremer lost more time held up for 15 kilometers behind two slower cars but, despite losing two minutes, he powered up the leaderboard into sixth position overall.

"The stages are very difficult and the Lancer Evolution is a well-prepared car, but I am not so happy with this result", said Kremer at the end of the event. "We had more problems than expected and could not match the pace of the leaders. But our MRF tires have not been developed much since the end of last season, so there is still some potential to come. The time for preparation was very short and now we have only three weeks to solve the problems before the next rally in New Caledonia".

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Gr. N
Armin Kremer / Timo Gottschalk
(Leg 2 - 9 May 2004)
Co-driver Timo Gottschalk added: "To do my first rally in Australia was fun and working with Armin and the team was very good. The stages are really difficult and you can’t compare them to Germany’s".

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution team-mate Katsuhiko Taguchi finished third of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship contenders, the Japanese driver suffering a puncture in stage 10 and being forced to stop and change it. The former champion claimed useful points in the series and finished ninth overall in the Rally of Canberra.

In the overall standing, Juha Kangas put up a ferocious fight for the lead, the Finn ultimately powering his Lancer Evolution to second overall, just 10.6 seconds adrift of outright victor and national hero Dean Herridge.

The second round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship - the Rallye de Nouvelle-Calédonie - runs from May 29-30.

FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION

  Driver Co-driver Nat. Car Gr/Cl Total Time Diff.
1  Dean Herridge  Glenn Macneall AUS/NZ  Subaru Impreza WRX STI N/4 2:58:40.5  
2  Juha Kangas  Julia Rabbett AUS  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 2:58:51.1 + 10.6
3  Toshihiro Arai  Tony Sircombe J/NZ  Subaru Impreza WRX STI N/4 2:58:56:0 + 15.5
4  Cody Crocker  Greg Foletta AUS  Subaru Impreza WRX STI N/4 2:59:12.2 + 31.7
5  Karamjit Singh A  Allen Oh MAL  Proton Pert N/4 3:00:05.8 + 1:25.3
6  Armin Kremer A  Timo Gottschalk D  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3:02:59.8 + 4:19.3
7  Mark Pedder  Toni Feaver AUS  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3:04:15.9 + 5:35.4
8  Brad Goldsborough  Dale Moscatt AUS  Subaru Impreza WRX STI N/4 3:04:36.8 + 5:56.3
9  Katsuhiko Taguchi A  Mark Stacey J/AUS  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3:04:51.1 + 6:10.6
10  Chris Atkinson A  Ben Atkinson AUS  Suzuki IGNIS Super 1600 A/6 3:05:03.4 + 6:22.9
11  Martin Lintott  Tony Jackson AUS  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3:07:15.4 + 8:34.9
12  Atsushi Masamura A  Masahiro Tochihara J  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3:16:03.8 + 17:23.3
13  Eli Evans  Kylie Evans AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:19:08.9 + 20:28.4
14  David Hills  David Callaghan AUS  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3:19:09.7 + 20:29.2
15  John Goasdoue  Glen Weston AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:19:10.8 + 20:30.3
16  Satoru Ito  Frank Brookhouse J/AUS  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3:21:42.3 + 23:01.8
17  Benni Tirant  Simon Haeusler AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:21:47.1 + 23:06.6
18  Matt van Tuinen  Tom Smith AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:22:52.9 + 24:12.4
19  Chris Snell  Dean Price AUS  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3:24:00.2 + 25:19.7
20  Masahiro Nakajima  Naoki Kurosaki J  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3:26:22.1 + 27:41.6
21  Steve Glenney  Clayton Lang AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:27:22.7 + 28:42.2
22  Dean Ridge  Joy Ridge AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:27:53.7 + 29:13.2
23  Geoff Newton  Daniel Newton NZ  Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution N/4 3:29:25.7 + 30:45.2
24  Ian Plenderleith  Stella Plenderleith AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:29:55.3 + 31:14.8
25  Trent Brand  Anthony McLoughlin AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:29:57.6 + 31:17.1
26  Nathan Davis  Simone Martin AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:32:11.7 + 33:31.2
27  Paul Gover  Anne Gigney AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:33:31.3 + 34:50.8
28  Mark Beard  Jim Gleeson AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:34:34.8 + 35:54.3
29  John Berne  Graham Legg-Stoker AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/6 3:37:39.6 + 38:59.1
30  Vic Scona  Simone Bachmann AUS  Subaru Impreza RS N/4 3:39:37.4 + 40:56.9
31  Nick Marshall  "Tilber" NZ/F  Peugeot 106 S16 A/4 4:01:53.3 + 1:03:12.8
Nationalities: AUS=Australia / D=Germany / F=France / J=Japan / MAL=Malaysia / NZ=New Zealand /
Names underlined followed by A indicate drivers eligible for FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship points