Asia Cup Contenders Line Up

The APRC regulars will have some extra competition from Malaysia Rally onwards as competitors line-up to compete for the APRC Asia Cup.

With the Pacific Cup secured by Sweden’s Pontus Tidemand after victory at Australia’s Rally Queensland, attention now shifts to the Asian equivalent with seven of the regions top drivers and co-drivers registered for the four round competition that starts with Malaysia, then heads to Japan, followed by China and a new APRC event in India.

Gaurav Gill, Rally New Caledonia 2015While most competitors have registered to score points at all four rounds, they can only count their best three and this might help India’s Gaurav Gill. Driving an MRF Skoda Fabia, Gill is an obvious favorite but his team has not registered him for Asia Cup points at his home rally in India and he will have to score maximum points at
the other three events.

China’s Fan Fan is another entered in three events only, unable to score points at his home event the China Rally due to some odd CRC regulations.

Registered for all four events is the 2013 Asia Cup winner Mike Young from New Zealand entered in a Cusco EZY Racing Subaru Impreza, along with Cusco Subaru team-mate Sanjay Takale from India.

Dinesh Deheragoda - China Rally 2014Representing Mitsubishi and driving Lancer Evo 10’s are Indonesian driver Suhban Aksa and Dinesh Dereagoda from Sri Lanka.

All drivers are automatically entered in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Cup powered by Würth, where drivers can accumulate points on all seven APRC rounds and currently lead by Tidemand with a 34 point advantage on team-mate Gill. For the latest points information click here.

Competitor Update – August 2015

Hi everyone, further news and updates on upcoming APRC rallies for 2015.

Malaysian Rally

  • Rally Guide 2 is available on the rally website
  • Please note the revised programme as advised in RG2 which is changed from RG1.
  • Plans are in place for me to do import customs inspections next week, prior to teams arrival. Team containers are expected to be placed in Angsana SP on Friday evening 7 August, and teams will be able to access them and start prep from Saturday 8 August.
  • Please note we have been advised of possible delays for the arrival at port due to congestion. This may delay the actual clearance and delivery of containers to Angsana.
  • Because of the tight shipping schedule to Japan, teams are advised that export customs inspections will likely take place on Monday morning 17 August. As soon as I have details of time I will advise all concerned.
  • My mobile number in Malaysia will be +60136127784

APRC Working Group meeting

  • A reminder that the annual meeting of the APRC Working Group will be held at 8am on Monday 17 August, at Grand Paragon Hotel.
  • Your presence at this meeting will be important, as the group needs to know what you are thinking re future of APRC.
  • The agenda and dossier will be available to teams and competitors from later this week. This is on request only basis.

Fuel orders for Japan and China

  • Fuel orders for Japan MUST be placed with me before 1 August 2015, ie end of this week.
  • Fuel orders for China MUST be placed with me by 12 August to allow me to apply for the required import permit in advance.

Rally Hokkaido

  • Supplementary Regulations are due to be available on the rally website from tomorrow Tuesday 28 July
  • As in previous years, we will not have access to the Kita Aikoku SP until Monday 14 September. I plan to have all containers placed in the SP no later than midday on Monday.
  • A general reminder to competitors and drivers that you should check the validity of your drivers licence in Japan. If any doubt, please contact the organisers directly, or myslef.

China Rally

  • Rally Guide 1 is available on rally website or
  • As usual, we have to make plans well in advance for temporary import permits. I will be contacting all teams re this over next few weeks, and we can discuss in Malaysia.

Coffee Day India Rally

  • We welcome a return to India as a round of Asia Cup 2015, in the Coffee Day plantations around the city of Chikmaglur.
  • Rally Guide 1 is available on the rally website
  • I am in process of finalising the import and local requirements for international teams. As this information is confirmed I will advise all concerned.
  • Chikmaglur is 250 km north of Bangalore, the nearest international airport city.
  • Please do not hestiate to contact me or the organisers directy if you have any questions on this rally or the preparation for it.

If you are having any problems accessing the above information and documents, please contact me directly and I can send you a copy. Any other questions re the above events, or the APRC, again, please feel free to contact me directly

Murray Brown
APRC Coordinator

APRC Logistics – A Juggling Act

From an article printed in the prior to International Rally of Queensland. Written by Scott Sawyer and photo of Murray Brown by Patrick Woods.

Precision driving and a seamlessly run event is what most punters will experience at this weekend’s International Rally of Queensland event in Imbil and Caloundra. But behind the flying dirt and expertly navigated corners, it’s not always smooth sailing.

The man tasked with bringing together the logistics for the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship yesterday shed some light on what goes into delivering an international motorsport meet. APRC coordinator Murray Brown gave an insight into the globe-trotting juggling act he maintains, as he shifts teams and tyres all over the world.

Murray Brown, photo by Patrick Woods.“It’s a bloody big challenge, there’s no two ways about that,” Mr Brown said. “I liken it to juggling, there’s about six balls in the air and you can’t afford to drop one.”

While the teams have based themselves in Caloundra, with racing action at Imbil, it’s a shipping container city that reveals the intricacies of the sport. After the last race on Sunday, most teams will have packed up, washed down and fitted their equipment back into their private container within hours, ready for it to be loaded and shipped off to the next round of racing.

A month ago, teams, cars and equipment went through that exact process, packed and stacked in New Caledonia, before landing in Australia for this weekend’s events.

Amazingly, mishaps were few and far between. “If the containers are lost or missing, that’s tough,” Mr Brown said. “We’ve had some close calls over the years, cars arriving at events a day before the rally. “Every event has its challenges, there’s always something that crops up.”

Once the cars are unloaded, containers double as workshops, massage rooms and team offices, depending on the team’s budget, with an average of six-to-eight people making up a team.

Mr Brown is for the most part a solo act, aided by agents based in other event locations, as they work to orchestrate what at times can be a huge gamble on shipping timetables. And there’s plenty to consider.

“Most competitors would be going through anything from 20-24 tyres per car for the weekend this weekend,” he said. “For a two-car team there’s about 300 tyres in the team’s container, that’s tyres for all sorts of conditions.” International quarantine also posed challenges of its own, with Australia and New Zealand incredibly strict on the APRC teams, Mr Brown said.

Young Tops Elite Motorsport Academy

Michael Young, Elite Academy Award 2015Asia Pacific rally star Michael Young has taken the top spot in the 2015 Elite Motorsport Academy run by Motorsport New Zealand.

Selected from 40 applicants, eight of New Zealand’s most promising motorsport talents attended the seven-day academy based in Dunedin, where they were trained and tested across a wide range of physical and mental skills. Sessions included sponsorship, media management, nutrition and team building – all skills required for high-performance sports.

Winning the Academy means Michael, who is currently based in Perth, is the recipient of the Ian Snellgrove Award, established by the MotorSport New Zealand Scholarship Trust in memory of the late Ian Snellgrove who was the driving force behind the academy’s establishment.

“I’m really honoured to win 2015 Elite Motorsport Sport Academy, it was a big surprise when they called out my name”, said a very happy Young. “It was a huge week and I can’t thank Motorsport New Zealand, the trustees and the trainers enough! It was amazing experience and there’s so much all of us can put into our motorsport programmes and preparation”.

In a first for the academy, Young’s co-driver Malcolm Read was also in the group of final eight, “That was a great part of the week too, although in this situation Malcolm and I were competing against each other! We both got a lot from the session on ‘nutrition and hydration’ as these are really important for events that we do in the APRC (Asia Pacific Rally Championship)”.

Malcolm Read and Mike Young“The heat chamber was also really helpful, especially for rallies like Malaysia where we go next month, as we sat for one-hour at 42 degrees, 60 per cent humidity, with two layers driver-suits, helmet, balaclavas and a strope test at same time. Now that was certainly an experience to remember!”

Young and Read follow in the footsteps of other successful New Zealanders such as World Rally Championship driver Hayden Paddon and GP2 contenders Mitch Evans and Richie Stanaway. Le Mans winner Earl Bamber and runner-up Brendon Hartley also graduated from the academy in the past, as did V8 supercar driver Shane van Gisbergen.

Each graduate also leaves the Academy with a personalized programme and ongoing support from the experts. MotorSport NZ’s general manager Brian Budd commented, “It’s been a long hard week for the Academy participants, I’m sure one they will never forget.”

“Now in its twelfth year, the Academy is spot on with what it offers our young competitors. Each year I think these guys surprise themselves when they discover where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Our congratulations go to Michael for winning this year’s Academy.”

Young and Read are competing in this year’s FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship with the Japanese based Cusco EZY Racing team driving a Group N Subaru Impreza. With podium finishes in New Zealand and Australia, they head to Asia next month for events in Malaysia (August), Japan (September), China (November) and India (December).