Alister McRae has won China Rally for a third time, after a Day 1 battle with Team MRF Gaurav Gill ended when the Indian driver’s Skoda suffered terminal engine failure on the first stage of Day 2.
Its the third event event in row where Gill has led but mechanical problems have intervened. Team MRF did have reason to celebrate though with Chris Atkinson coming home second and clinching the 2012 APRC Drivers title. Team MRF also won the teams and manufacturers award for Skoda.
Japans’ Yuya Sumiyama was 4th overall and won the Asia Cup for the second time, although the Cusco driver did have some luck, an off road excursion and a roll-over on Day 1 nearly ended his event.
New Zealander Brian Green finished 5th of the APRC competitors, the only driver to finish all six rounds of the series.
Proton were first and third on the overall podium with Juha Salo bringing his S2000 Satria home, while behind the Malaysian manufacturer totally dominated the two-wheel drive class with Karamjit Singh winning the class in China and the two-wheel drive cup for the second time.
Singh’s young team-mates Akira Bamba and Kenneth Koh made it a 1-2-3 result for the R3 Proton team, while Dream’s Team India driver Sanjay Takle in yet another Proton won the A6 class in.
China Rally – Final APRC Results
1. Alister McRae / Bill Hayes, Proton Satria Neo, 3h02m33.1s
2. Chris Atkinson / Stephane Prevot, Skoda Fabia, +1m46.5s
3. Juha Salo / Marko Salminen, Proton Satria Neo, +6m58.6s
4. Yuya Sumiyama / Naoki Kase, Subaru Impreza, +9m30.9s
5. Brian Green / Fleur Pedersen, Subaru Impreza, +12m32.9s
Photos and story by Brian Young – www.aprc.tv