MITSUBISHI MOTORS

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Daily Report
2008 FIA ASIA-PACIFIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 5: RALLY of INDONESIA

22 - 24 August 2008

TEAM MRF TYRES MITSUBISHI
FIRST AND SECOND IN INDONESIA
TEAM MRF TYRE










Gaurav Gill / Jagdev Singh










Katsuhiko Taguchi / Mark Stacey
Rally of Indonesia is one of the toughest events on the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) calendar and for the second year in a row Mitsubishi finished first and second. The event was won by Gaurav Gill (India) driving for the MRF Tyres Mitsubishi team, with his team-mate Katsuhiko Taguchi (Japan) in second place. Taguchi moves further ahead in the APRC drivers championship points with two more rounds still to run.

The island of South Sulawesi is the location for Rally of Indonesia and an area known for its hot and arid climate. With the city of Makassar as its base the event is run through the surrounding sugar-cane plantations and the roads are narrow, rough and with a powdery dust that is very slippery. With temperatures inside the cars often reaching 50 plus degrees centigrade its an event where consistency and a level head are required - small problems can turn into big ones very quickly.

Team MRF Tyres Mitsubishi started the event with top times from all three of their drivers, but Scott Pedder (Australia) was an early victim of the uncompromising roads, hitting a dry creek bed at high-speed causing severe damage to his car, splitting a brake-line and bending a front cross member. Pedder and co-driver Glen Weston made roadside repairs to the car and drove through the rest of the day until evening service where the team replaced all the bent parts.

There were no such problems for Pedder's two team-mates though as Katsuhiko Taguchi went into an early lead with Gaurav Gill closely matching his times.
On stage 3, one of the longest in the event at 19 kilometers Taguchi suffered a puncture that required he and co-driver Mark Stacey (Australia) stop and change. The lost time dropped them down the order but Taguchi quickly fought his way back into 3rd place. With Taguchi's delay Gill took over the lead and through the rest of day the young Indian managed to hold off last years APRC champion Cody Crocker (Australia), despite having to slow in one of the stages when a gearbox mount broke. Starting day 2 Gill lead Crocker by 15 seconds, but that lead quickly evaporated to 5 seconds with a puncture on transport that resulted in a 10-second penalty after checking into the stage time-control one minute late.

The first 3 stages of day 2 were a great battle between Taguchi, Gill and Crocker. Taguchi was fastest of the three drivers over the three stages, but Gill managed to hold the gap to Crocker to 4.5 seconds heading back to mid-day service. On Stage 12 it was Crocker's turn to have a puncture dropping the Australian to 3rd, 2-minutes behind Taguchi. With only 2 stages to run Gill was uncatchable and went on to win his first major international rally. "We set some good times yesterday but then we had a gearbox problem and had to limp through the stages, but then the other guys had punctures and problems too - I'm learning all the time, this is what APRC is all about.

I'm really happy to be matching the speed of the big boys, that's what I wanted and that’s what we've achieved here. It’s a brilliant feeling comparing your times when the difference is only seconds or half seconds. I 've been watching these guys for years, now I'm racing against them and matching their times. I'm really happy and really excited, thanks to my team and MRF Tyres, they worked really well. Thanks to Katsu he's always been there helping me out to drive better.

This is great for Indian motorsports for sure, maybe they were expecting a podium from me but not a win - I expect it will surprise a few people. To be honest I felt a bit of pressure, but I knew I wanted to come here and win for sure. I'm really looking forward to Malaysia now where we have the new Pirelli Star Cup challenge and I'd like to go there and top the times again", said Gill at the finish.

Taguchi now has a six point advantage of his close rival Crocker, "Very good for us as this rally we must finish in front of Cody, this we do - so very very good result for the championship. Our stage times through the rally are quite similar to Cody’s, but we change our flat tyre in 2 minutes and they change their's in 3 minutes so we beat him by 1 minute. We have a 6 point lead in the championship so looking forward to Malaysia. Cody has an extra event than us, so we need maximum attack in Malaysia to get maximum points.
My team-mate Gaurav was very impressive, he set good times in shakedown then we thought he could be good".

The next event in the championship is the Malaysian Rally in Johor Baru on October 10-11th.
 APRC CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
A
Gaurav Gill
Jagdev Singh
IND
MAL
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3: 3:23.9 **:**
2 Katsuhiko Taguchi
Mark Stacey
J
AUS
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3: 4:30.8 +1:06.9
3 Cody Crocker
Ben Atkinson
AUS
AUS
Subaru Impreza 3: 5:37.6 +2:13.7
4
A
Rifat Sungkar
Bill Hayes
RI
AUS
Subaru Impreza 3: 8:44.8 +5:20.9
5 Brian Green
Fleur Pedersen
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:18:35.2 +15:11.3
6
A
Scott Pedder
Glen Weston
AUS
AUS
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:28:35.9 +25:12.0
A : Asia Cup


 FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
Pos Driver
Co-Driver
Nat Vehicle Total
Time
Diff
Leader
1
AP/A
Gaurav Gill
Jagdev Singh
IND
MAL
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3: 3:23.9 **:**
2
AP
Katsuhiko Taguchi
Mark Stacey
J
AUS
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3: 4:30.8 +1:06.9
3
AP
Cody Crocker
Ben Atkinson
AUS
AUS
Subaru Impreza 3: 5:37.6 +2:13.7
4
AP/A
Rifat Sungkar
Bill Hayes
RI
AUS
Subaru Impreza 3: 8:44.8 +5:20.9
5 Subhan Aksa
Hade Mboi
RI
RI
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:11:19.7 +7:55.8
6 Akbar Hadianto
Arianto Sjarief
RI
RI
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:13:37.0 +10:13.1
7 Ricardo Gelael
Tony Sircombe
RI
NZ
Subaru Impreza 3:17:36.5 +14:13.6
8
AP
Brian Green
Fleur Pedersen
NZ
NZ
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:18:35.2 +15:11.3
9 Sadikin Aksa
Adi Wibowo
RI
RI
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:22:46.8 +19:22.9
10
AP/A
Scott Pedder
Glen Weston
AUS
AUS
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 3:28:35.9 +25:12.0
AP : APRC registered
A : Asia Cup


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