Smiles in the Subaru camp as Crocker wins his first Rally of Canberra
While it’s been a tough week in the Subaru camp, with star driver Possum Bourne still in a serious condition in a New Zealand hospital, Cody Crocker and Greg Foletta this afternoon have good reason to celebrate.
Thirty-one-year-old Crocker, who set up a fantastic lead early on Saturday and won eight of the 22 stages, finished with a time of 2:50:52.0.
Fellow Australian Scott Pedder and co-driver Paul Humm rounded off a fantastic weekend with a time of 2:51:26.2. The pair ran into trouble late in the final stages, with a leaking engine seal causing some problems but they managed to hold it together until the end. Subaru’s second vehicle, driven by Dean Herridge and Glenn MacNeall, came in a close third with a time of 2:52:17.0. It’s the first time more than one Subaru Rally Team vehicle has finished in Canberra.
Conditions for this year’s rally have been difficult to say the least – in addition to the cloud hanging over the rally fraternity caused by Possum Bourne’s accident, weather conditions during the weekend have been variable.
The event started in dusty conditions on Friday that soon turned wet, while Saturday was again dry and dusty and by the end of Sunday the conditions were no less than soggy.
Nutahara While the weekend’s been triumphant for Subaru and Australia, the hottest competition has been for the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship points.
Just 11 of the event’s 33 starters were APRC registered, with New Zealand’s Geoff Argyle, Germany’s Armin Kremer and Japan’s Fumio Nutahara going into the final stage just seconds apart.
The margin became even closer during the final stage, with Kremer taking the honours by just 0.7 seconds. Argyle was forced to limp home on a flat tyre, dashing his chances for the win.
Atkinson Nutahara finished third behind Argyle with 2:54:05.5. This was the closest the APRC standings have ever been in Canberra.
Australia’s only APRC entry, brothers Chris and Ben Atkinson in the Monster Sport Australia Pty Ltd Suzuki Ignis, came in 10th overall and fourth in the APRC standings.
The Canberra track is touted as one of the most challenging on the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship circuit and true to form claimed 11 vehicles during the course of the weekend. From a starting field of 33 just 22 cars completed the event, including the Mitsubishi of Kaoru Fujii, which suffered two flat tyres between stages SS7 and SS8 but restarted today.
PROVISIONAL OVERALL RESULTS
1. Crocker-Foletta, Subaru Rally Team (AUS), Subaru Impreza, 2:50:52.0
2. Pedder-Humm, Pedders Suspension (AUS), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, 2:51:26.2
3. Herridge-MacNeall, Subaru Rally Team (AUS), Subaru Impreza, 2:52:17.0
4. Ordynski-Stewart, Les Walkden Rallying (AUS), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, 2:53:56.5
5. Kremer-Berssen, MRF Tyres (IND), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, 2:53:56.7
6. Argyle-Smith, Racetech Seats (NZ), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI.5, 2:53:57.4
7. Nutahara-Hayashi, Advan-PIAA Rally Team (J), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, 2:54:05.5
8. Neale-Neale, Frank Neale (AUS), Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V RS, 2:55:11.8
9. Barker-Drake, Ben Barker (AUS), Mitsubishi Lancer III, 2:58:06.8
10. Atkinson-Atkinson, Monster Sport Australia (AUS), Suzuki Ignis Super 1600, 3:03:36.7