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2006
FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship

Report

FIA ASIA-PACIFIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 3: RALLY OF ROTORUA
MITSUBISHI LEADS APRC POINTS  
28 MAY 2006 FINAL RELEASE
FINAL RESULTS

Rifat Sungkar / M Herkusuma
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII
 

Fan Fan / Jun Wei Fang
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII
 
 
Mitsubishi remains in the lead for manufacturer in the tightly fought Asia Pacific Rally Championship after Mitsubishi Lancer’s finished in 2nd, 3rd and 4th position in the Rally of Rotorua in New Zealand.

The roads East of Rotorua are some of toughest in the world, the area being very mountainous and home to the infamous Motu stage - at 42 kilometres one of the longest and tightest in rallying. This was the area for the first leg and a massive 170 kilometers of stage mileage and adding to the challenge was torrential rain making conditions slippery and treacherous. For most drivers day 1 of the 2006 Rally of Rotorua will be remembered as one of the toughest challenges of their career. And just for contrast the sun returned for the 2nd leg, but the roads remained slippery.

Rifat Sungkar was the top Mitsubishi driver and in a brand new Lancer Evo 9, built by Reece Jones Rallysport. The Indonesian driver drove an exceptional rally, intent on driving at a fast, but safe pace. With the extreme weather conditions this was the right approach and netted Sungkar his second podium place in as many rallies the Mitsubishi driver also finished 2nd in Rally of New Caledonia one month ago. "I really like the fast New Zealand roads and the new car has made a big difference. Out strategy is to score points consistently and so far we are on track - with this result we remain in 2nd position. We did have some luck - we were very close to rolling over a bank this morning, the car was on two wheels but fortunately it came back down again and we continued on, but my team-mate was not so lucky he crashed off on the same corner maybe its called Indonesian corner!", said Sungkar at the finish.

Behind Sungkar came Chinese driver Fan Fan, having his first visit to the podium and thrilled to have his chance of spraying the champagne on an international event. This year is Fan Fan’s second attempt at the APRC and his pace has steadily improved with each event and said "I really like the New Zealand roads and I hope I can come back again, they are fantastic fun. Our team did a great job".

Dermott Malley from New Zealand continued his strong finishing record, although he was disappointed not to have had another podium. Malley’s wife Linzi is his co-driver and unfortunately on the first day she suffered with a bad bout of car sickness bought on by the twisty undulating roads of the Motu and Whakarua stages.

The next round of the Asia-Pacific Championship is Rally Hokkaido in Japan on July 7-9. With the leading competitors having each dropped a round, every event will now count in the battle for the 2006 championship honours.

 FINAL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Vehicle Grp
Pos
Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Cody Crocker
Ben Atkinson
Subaru Impreza N
1
3:12:47.1 **:**.*
2
AP
Rifat Sungkar
M Herkusuma
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
2
3:27:59.0 +15:19.9
3
AP
Fan Fan
Jun Wei Fang
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
3
3:38:14.2 +25:27.1
4
AP
Dermott Malley
Linzi Malley
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII N
4
3:46:17.8 +33:30.7



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(c) 2006 Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. All rights reserved.