Competitor Update – 18 May 2016

International Rally of Queensland

  • Supplementary Regulations are available on the rally website
  • A reminder that entries close for IROQ on Friday 27 May
  • Please note the new location for the pre-event service area and HQ. Both will be at Waterfront Hotel, 2/46 David Low Way, Diddillibah QLD 4559
  • Requests for space at Imbil service park should be made to organisers by Friday 27 May
  • AQIS quarantine inspections will take place on Friday 10 June at Russells Transport, 118 Freight St, Lytton 4178, Brisbane. Teams should be on site from 9 am to unpack ready for inspections.
  • Containers will be available to teams at the pre-event service area from late morning, Saturday 11 June.

Asia Cup

  • A reminder that registrations for Asia Cup close at same time as entries for China Rally, if China Rally is your first nominated rally. This is expected to be approx 15 July.
  • If your first nominated Asia Cup rally is Hokkaido, registrations close at close of entries for Rally Hokkaido, ie Friday 2 September
  • As in 2015, Asia Cup will comprise 4 rallies, China, Japan, Malaysia and India. Competitors may nominate 3 or 4 rallies to score points at. Final result will be taken from best 3 results.

China Rally Zhangye

  • China Rally Zhangye will be held in Zhangye. This is in Gansu province. Closest airports are either Langzhou or Xi’an. It is located approx 2000km from Beijing in NW China.
  • As of today there is no official information available from the China Rally organisers. In the interests of encouraging competitors to compete in China Rally, and for your planning for this and subsequent Asia Cup rallies, I have prepared the below timetable for logistics planning.
  • Import Customs inspections: BEIJING, Wed 27 July
  • Container delivery to SP: ZHANGYE, Mon 1 August
  • Export Customs Inspections: BEIJING, approx Wed 10 August
  • As advised earlier, the Zhangye government will cover the cost of transport of containers from Beijing to Zhangye, and return to Beijing. Teams will be responsible for customs clearance and transport to and from the port/Beijing.
  • As soon as official information becomes available I will pass this on.

Rally Hokkaido

Rally Guide 1 is now available on the rally website

As always, any questions on any of the above, please contact me directly.

Murray Brown
APRC Coordinator
+63 908 310 5888

Close Finish in Whangarei

Gaurav Gill, Rally Whangarei 2016The first round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) came to a dramatic close today at the International Rally of Whangarei with the battle for first coming down to the final stages before eventually being won by Gaurav Gill.

Gill (India) with co-driver Glenn Macneall won the event today in their Team MRF Skoda R5, despite having to claw back a four-second deficit to the team-mate, German driver Fabian Kreim across today’s six stages.

Following the rally, a relieved Gill said: “It’s a great result for me and for the team. We like this rally and it always teaches you a lot, and today we managed to push a bit harder and got the desired result.

“Although I’m still learning the set up of the car and we haven’t quite found the perfect setup. We still had a few small issues but the team fixed them quickly which was great. And of course driving this car wasn’t very easy to start with because I haven’t driven at all for seven months. It’s a big challenge but I wanted to make the most of it so we took it step by step.”

Fabian Kreim. Rally Whangarei 2016New Team MRF driver, Kreim and co-driver Frank Christian (Germany) put on a spectacular drive by finishing in second overall, only 30 seconds behind the winners, in what was their first ever gravel event.

Kreim said: “This is great! Unbelievable! It is a really nice feeling and I think for the first time on gravel, I found a very good speed today. On the last stage it was raining a lot and very slippery on the tarmac section. But I really enjoy it.

“The Skoda was very good. Many thanks to the team, Team MRF and Skoda Motorsport for the perfect car. It worked very well and I look forward to the next event.”

The European duo now fly back to Germany to compete in two German Rally Championship rounds before heading back to Australia for the second round of the APRC.

Mike Young, Rally Whangarei 2016Meanwhile local driver Michael Young with co-driver Malcolm Read also put on a stellar performance in his Cusco EZY Racing Subaru Impreza and kept up with the Team MRF Skoda’s to finish in third, despite receiving a 14 minute time loss at the start of the event due to an electrical issue at the super special stage on Friday night.

“I’m pretty happy with that [third place] after Friday night and the disappointment of a 14 minute penalty. I think we showed pace this weekend and we won quite a few stages outright in both the APRC and NZRC [New Zealand Rally Championship],” said Young.

“Obviously the penalty was hard to swallow because we might have finished further up the podium but I know I’ve done my job and I’ve been driving quick all weekend. We will be back again to fight for another podium, and Australia is always a round I enjoy.”

Makoto Kawahara, Rally Whangarei 2016Young’s Cusco Racing team-mate, Sanjay Takale (India) suffered further issues today in the first stage of the morning after contact with a bridge so were forced to retire again.

The trio of Japanese teams also struggled throughout the weekend with only the pairing of Makoto Kawahara and Osamu Yoda making the finish in their Mitsubishi Evolution.

Yesterday also saw the unexpected and early retirement of Australian front-runner Scott Pedder following a mechanical failure in his Renault Clio. “Rally cars don’t tend to go far with a hole the size of a fist through the bottom of the engine,” said Pedder. “It looks like a rod has punched a hole through the block and taken the oil and water lines out with it.”

The next round is based around Australia’s Sunshine Coast at the International Rally of Queensland on 18 and 19 June. It is the second round based around the Pacific region and will see crews battle it out over 16 closed special stages totalling 240 kilometres.

Rally Whangarei, Final Results
Gill/Macneall: 2:55:50.3
Kreim/Christian: +0:30.4
Young/Read: +14:10.0
Kawahara/Yoda: +31:27.3

Photos: Geoff Ridder