|MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTIONS 2nd, 3rd and 5th
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution driver Chee Hong Kan completed a fine drive in the Malaysian Rally, the fifth round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, to claim second overall behind outright victor Toshihiro Arai. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution drivers finished second, third and fifth in this tricky and treacherous event.
The Malaysian Rally is based in the vicinity of Kota Tinggi, Johor, the southern gateway into Peninsular Malaysia. This years FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship event attracted 11 of the series entrants representing six nations, with no fewer than six of the crews driving Mitsubishis Lancer Evolution. The rally kicked off on Friday August 19 with a ceremonial start in Johor Bahru, but the real action took place on Saturday (20) and Sunday (21) with a total of eight stages run each day before the finish back in Johor Bahru on Sunday afternoon.
In the absence of the Team MRF Tyre crews of Katsuhiko Taguchi and Jussi Välimäki, it was down to other Lancer Evolution crews to uphold Mitsubishi honors. Chinese driver Chee Hong Kan made good use of his knowledge of the unique conditions to claim second overall in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Co-driver Bernard Chin said: "We couldnt have asked for anything better. Arai was really fast today and we couldnt catch him - hes in a league of his own. We did what we could and that was to keep second and Argyle behind us".
Geoffrey Argyle was hoping for a better result to keep his titles hopes alive, but the New Zealander had to settle for third in his Lancer Evolution. "It was very frustrating yesterday (Saturday) that we lost so much time, but we came back strong today and the cars working perfectly and the tires just as I predicted they would. We pushed as hard as we could, but we missed second place by 13 seconds. We are confident now for the next round in Indonesia where conditions are similar to what weve experienced here - hard and fast when its dry, very slippery in the wet".
Dermott Malley finished fifth in another Lancer Evolution after his co-driver and son Patrick Malley suffered neck problems after a very heavy landing. Brian Green retired when an oil pipe came off after SS 5, the result of a slight nudge against a small bank. Chinas Fan Fan retired with steering problems in SS 12.
Round six of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship takes the crews to the Gudang Garam International Rally of Indonesia (September 9-11).