Last years championship winning MRF Mitsubishi team have announced their drivers for the 2006 Asia Pacific Rally Championship. Japanese driver Katsuhiko Taguchi and Australian co-driver Mark Stacey return for a third year and will be joined by Finnish driver Jarkko Miettinen and co-driver Mikko Markkula.
Taguchi returns to the APRC with extensive knowledge of the unique mixture of conditions that are part of a rally series run over two continents and where the temperatures range from freezing to frying!! Taguchi has showed many times in the past 2 years he has the outright speed to regain the APRC crown that he won in 1999 and with outright wins in Hokkaido (2005) and China (2004) knows he has the ability to take the championship title.
While new to the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, Miettinen has a wealth of Group N experience and top results from rallying in WRC events in Finland, Sweden and even the Mexican rally championship. The Finn consistently won the Group N category in last years very competitive Finnish Rally Championship and had an outright win on the international 2005 Lahti Rally. Miettinen will be partnered by co-driver Mikko Markkula. The pair have rallied together for 6 years and in 2005 Markkula gained further expertise as a factory co-driver with the Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team.
As in previous years the MRF Mitsubishi team will be run by RaceTorque and managed by Lane Heenan. Beginning the year in Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8’s, the team hope to have the latest Evo 9’s for the 3rd round in Rotorua.