Two teams from Indonesia have joined the 2006 Asia Pacific Rally Championship and both will start their campaigns at the first round in Canberra in March,running Mitsubishi Lancers under the joint banner of The Indonesia Rally Team.
Rifat Sungkar is the most experienced of the two young drivers, with international rallying in Malaysia, Thailand and Australia. During a recent interview Rifat said, “We’re really happy that local sponsor Pertamina (Indonesia State Oil company) has given us the opportunity to drive in six rounds of the 2006 APRC – we’ll do all rounds except Japan. Last year I did the Malaysian Championship and finished 2nd overall and this year will be a totally new experience. I have no idea yet, what to expect – but I’m sure it will be both fun and interesting”.
Subhan Aksa at 19 years old, maybe young but he has 4 years Rallying experience behind him and he won’t be fazed by the international travel as he is currently in his 2nd year of business studies at Hertfordshire University, United Kingdom – and will fly direct to each of the six Events from London. Aksa will be joined by regular co-driver Hade Mboi who is looking looking forward to the experience, “the team view this as a long-term project. We’re very excited as this is our first opportunity to enter a championship of the level of APRC. Our main objective is to get as much experience and learn as much as possible”. Aksa’s team will do all events except for the final round in China.
The Indonesia Rally Team manager will be Jeffrey JP who also runs the Rally of Indonesia and commented ‘for rallying in Indonesia this is great news to have a two car team like this compete internationally. This is part of our plan to get the World Championship back to Indonesia, to prove we have both the talent and organisation abilities.”
While running jointly under the title Indonesia Rally Team (supported by Gudang Garam International), each rally car will be serviced by separate crews. Rifat Sungkar and his team will be run in the Pacific rounds by New Zealand’s Reece Jones Motorsport and for the Asia rounds by Wan Yu Rally Team from China. Subhan Aksa will be run throughout the championship by Neil Allport Motorsport from New Zealand.