Kataoka wins Rally of Canberra

Japanese Mitsubishi driver Yoshiro Kataoka won the 1999 Rally of Canberra and now has a clear lead in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship after his 2nd place in March’s Rally of Thailand.

Kataoka’s main rival in the rally was kiwi driver Possum Bourne and for most of the rally Bourne held a significant lead, but on the last morning the Subaru driver cut a corner and tore the bottom of the right suspension strut and broke a driveshaft. Bourne saw his six minute lead evoporate into a 3 minute deficit, “but we could still have been stuck in the stage. We were lucky we had a good tool kit in the car so we could fix the damage’. Neil Bates went out early in the event after puncturing the radiator of his Toyota Corolla with a stick.

Problems for Ed Ordynski on the last morning also allowed Japanese driver Katsuhiko Taguchi into the Group N lead and a valuable third overall. Taguchi is now second overall in the championship. The F2 class was a walk away win for Simon Evans in the works supported Volkswagon Golf GTi after ‘Monster’ Tajima crashed out of the event in his Suzuki.

All the major class winners used Yokohama tyres and the top six from Canberra will meet again at the next round of the championship, the Rally of New Zealand July 16-18.

1. Y. Kataoka (JPN), S Hayashi (JPN), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6, 3 h 27m 0s
2. P Bourne(NZ), C Vincent(NZ), Subaru Impreza WRC98, 3h 29m,47s
3. K. Taguchi (JPN), R Teoh (MAL), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6, 3 h 31m 33s
4. E Ordynski (AUS), I. Stewart (AUS), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo5, 3h 31m 59s
5. C Crocker (AUS), M Stacey (AUS), Subaru Impreza WRX, 3h 32m 53s
6..S Evans (AUS), S Evans (AUS), Volkswagon Golf GTi,3h 38m 15s

Asia Pacific Rally Championship points: 1. Kataoka 35 2. Taguchi 24 3. K Singh(Malaysia) 20 4. Bourne 15

Other APRC News

Thailand winner Karamjit Singh did not make it to Canberra due to budget problems

The Rally of New Caledonia originally part of the 1999 APRC championship, then dropped because they didn’t have suffient budget to run an FIA event, have found the required funds and have asked to have their event re-enstated.

Power Pictures Video and Television, New Zealand are shooting and producing half-hour programmes from each round of the championship. The series will be broadcast on ESPN STAR Sports through Asia and other sports channels world-wide. Information on the television series is available by contacting info@power-pictures.com.

Possum Bourne is expected to do the remainder of the series in his Subaru Impreza WRC, although his entry in China is to be confirmed. Volkswagon driver Simon Evans has also confirmed his participation for all the remaining rounds and will bring some much welcome competition into the F2 class.