New Caledonia is the first country to confirm a team for the 2007 Asia Pacific Rally Championship – and what a team! Four cars and four of the countries most experienced drivers have combined to enter as “Team New Caledonia” for the 2007 championship.
Leading the team and driving a Subaru Impreza will be 55 year old Jean-Louis Leyraud who has been rallying for 35 years and competed in Morocco, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand. Leyraud has been crowned New Caledonian rally champion 10 times and competed in the 2002 APRC where he finished 4th in Group N. His international experience will be invaluable as Team New Caledonia take on the different conditions, cultures, climates and challenges of the six round series in 2007.
Mitsubishi drivers Daniel Palau (41yrs) and Patric Christian (45 yrs) are regular international competitors in New Zealand and of course New Caledonia where Palau has been New Caledonian champion 4 times and Christian is currently leading the 2006 series. At 32 years Patrick Yanai is the youngest driver in Team New Caledonia but has 14 years of rallying and is planning to drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 sponsored by Group Dang Motorsport.
All four drivers are hoping to compete in the top 5 and are of course looking forward to taking on the other international APRC competitors when they compete in their home event the 2007 APRC Rally of New Caledonia. The six countries that will host an APRC event will be finalised in October.