While there is no official news as yet, rumours continue to suggest a big entry of teams and drivers for the 2007 Asia Pacific Rally Championship.
The big news is that the championship should see the return of last years champion Cody Crocker driving the latest Subaru Impreza – but he will have some competition from the 2005 APRC champion Jussi Valimaki who returns to the series after several drives in WRC during 2006.
From Valimaki’s website (www.jussivalimaki.com): “I have made a contract with Australian Race Torque LTD for FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship series in season 2007. For whole autumn and first half of winter I’ve made plans for returning into Asia for the reason that in WRC podium finishes does not seem to matter anyone as drivers keeps fighting their places in teams with large amounts of cash they need to bring for the teams, I think my career in WRC has now been seen as I’ll return to Asia with more than confident mind. In Asia I have equal chances for rallying with best possible rally cars in best possible team in series”.
Crockers drive in APRC is still to be decided but an announcement is expected early next month. CUSCO Subaru have confirmed an entry for Hiroshi Yanagisawa and rumour suggests that Indonesian driver Rifat Sungkar is going to drive a Subaru this year – possibly as team-mate to Crocker.
The biggest team to ever enter the APRC is Team New Caledonia – SIX drivers from New Caledonia are planning to enter the 2007 championship headed by veteran Jean-Louis Leyraud [See story below].
Japanese driver Katsu Taguchi will return with an MRF Mitsubishi, while Taguchi team-mate last year Jarkko Miettinen in believed to be trying to get a budget together, along with another Finnish driver. Young Australian driver Eli Evans is still believed to be in the frame for a drive in APRC. Entries expected from New Zealand include Mitsubishi driver Geof Argyle returning to the series after a year off, while Marty Rostenburg is entered for the first 2 rounds and is considering putting his name on entry. A team of Ford Fiesta’s is on the cards with plenty of interest in this class – checkout the possiblities of entering at www.namsport.co.nz.