MITSUBISHI MOTORS

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Daily Report
2008 FIA ASIA-PACIFIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 3: Rally of Whangarei

7 - 8 June 2008

Mitsubishi Wins Rally of Whangarei
Team MRF Tyre Mitsubishi on the Podium
Katsuhiko Taguchi / Mark Stacey






Scott Pedder / Glen Weston






Chris West / Garry Cowan
Mitsubishi had plenty of reason to celebrate at this weekend's International Rally of Whangarei by taking overall victory on the event – and Japan’s Katsuhiko Taguchi finishing second and his Australian team-mate finishing third in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship category.

Rally of Whangarei doubles as Round 3 of both the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC), held on roads formerly used by the World Rally Championship (WRC). The Northland stages are super fast with lots of blind crests, requiring plenty of bravery and commitment from the drivers. Mitsubishi cars are well suited to these fast flowing roads as the results proved.

By finishing second Taguchi got his championship back on track, taking the Team MRF Tyre Mitsubishi driver to within 2 points of championship leader Cody Crocker, while Scott Pedder moves into 5th place in the championship points after finishing a close third. Pedder and Taguchi fought hard in the final stages to take maximum points and both drivers enjoyed the fast Northland roads “I’m pleased we got points for second in the event and points from both days, that’s good for our championship. The championship has a long way to go, so we must make sure we finish every event as high as possible with maximum points. Its working really well, Scott and I are really close in the times and we can swapped swap information and tyre choice. Yesterday we made a mistake with the tyre choice - we used a hard compound for the morning, but today we used a soft compound and myself and Scott got some more speed and set good times. The next Asia-Pacific event is my home country and we must win. Of course in Japan we know the roads very well, but so does Cody so we’ll have a big fight there”, said Taguchi at the final finish control.

Scott Pedder was on pace throughout the New Zealand event, but suffered a gearbox problem early on Day One requiring a change at mid-day service by the Team MRF Tyre Mitsubishi Team. The new gearbox was installed in record time but unfortunately for Pedder and co-driver Glen Weston incurred a late check with a penalty of 1 minute 20 seconds. Without that penalty their results might have been very different. “For sure it might have been different but I’m happy just to finish and finish well. We’ve had a run of bad luck and each time we’ve been lying in 2nd spot, so I’m happy to take third. The pace has been there - just got to transform it into finishes” said Pedder at the final service.

The overall event was won by kiwi (=New Zealand) driver Chris West in a Mitsubishi Lancer, with Hayden Paddon 2nd in a similar car.

Paddon took honours in the Pirelli challenge for young drivers – the reward a paid drive in the 2009 PWRC (=Production Car World Rally Championship). The final qualifying round for the Asia-Pacific Pirelli Challenge round is APRC Rally Malaysia where young drivers from across the Asia-Pacific region will compete to win the P-WRC drive.

The next APRC round is Rally of Hokkaido. The 4th Round of the APRC will be held from Saturday, July 12 to Sunday, July 13th. The Rally Hokkaido will be held around Obihiro, Hokkaido. The WRC Rally Japan will move its venue to Sapporo while the Rally Hokkaido will remain the same with 10 stages around the Obihiro area. In addition, Hokkaido will host the first round of the inaugural "Asia Cup".

The rally roads in Japan’s northern most island are almost as fast as Whangarei, but much narrower and through trees. This year's event will return to the Kita Aikoku service-park and headquarters previously used by the WRC.
 APRC CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Cody Crocker
Ben Atkinson
AUS
AUS
Subaru Impreza 2:38:18.0 **:**
2
P
Katsuhiko Taguchi
Mark Stacey
J
AUS
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:40:25.4 +2:07.4
3 Scott Pedder
Glen Weston
AUS
AUS
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:41:45.8 +3:27.8
4
P
Dean Herridge
Chris Murphy
AUS
AUS
Subaru Impreza 2:43:10.1 +4:52.1
5 Hiroshi Yanagisawa
Yoshimasa Nakahara
J
J
Subaru Impreza 2:43:29.3 +5:11.3
6 Rifat Sungkar
Bill Hayes
RI
AUS
Subaru Impreza 2:46:05.4 +7:47.4
7
P
Brian Green
Fleur Pedersen
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:49:39.4 +11:21.4
P : Pacific CUP


 FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1 Chris West
Garry Cowan
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:36:36.6 **:**
2 Hayden Paddon
John Kennard
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:36:54.1 +0:17.5
3
AP
Cody Crocker
Ben Atkinson
AUS
AUS
Subaru Impreza 2:38:18.0 +1:41.4
4 Dean Sumner
Paul Fallon
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:39:12.3 +2:35.7
5 Brett Martin
Grant Marra
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:39:20.4 +2:43.8
6
AP/P
Katsuhiko Taguchi
Mark Stacey
J
AUS
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:40:25.4 +3:48.8
7 Callum McInnes
David Calder
AUS
AUS
Subaru Impreza 2:41:20.2 +4:43.6
8
AP
Scott Pedder
Glen Weston
AUS
AUS
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 2:41:45.8 +5:09.2
9
AP/P
Dean Herridge
Chris Murphy
AUS
AUS
Subaru Impreza 2:43:10.1 +6:33.5
10
AP
Hiroshi Yanagisawa
Yoshimasa Nakahara
J
J
Subaru Impreza 2:43:29.3 +6:52.7
AP : APRC registered
P : Pacific CUP


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