The “Cup” concept is an exciting new development that will allow teams to compete in international events, without the expense of doing the full APRC championship. Many drivers already enter their own event and many enter two, adding a third in their region is viable and achievable for many competitors.
While the two cups will be totally separate from the APRC award, the same benefits will apply to the Cup entrants including collective shipping and coordination, inclusion in the global TV coverage, seeding at the head of the field, primary positions at service parks – plus the opportunity to compete in international events with the associated exposure and experience.
A summary of the new regulations are as follows:
Pacific Cup – nominate 3 events (of 3) prior to close of entries for first event
Asia Cup – nominate 3 events (of 4) prior to close of entries for first event contested
Teams must register for only one competition – either the full APRC or the Asia and/or Pacific cups
APRC – Nominate 6 events prior to close entries of first event to be contested
APRC – 5 events to be contested to be included in final classification, of the 6 nominated at registration
Penalty for any missed APRC events is the entry fee – to be paid to event organizers
45 min service is now flexi service at each event
A new tyre rule has been introduced for all regional rally championships in 2008, specifying that all tyres used in competition must be commercially available.
While its too early to predict drivers and teams for next year, current champion Cody Crocker has a two-year agreement with the Motor Image team and therefore it is almost certain the Australian will return to defend his title for a third year in a new shape Subaru Impreza. Mitsubishi’s new Group N rally car the Evo 10 is not expected to compete until the end of 2008.
APRC team’s coordinator Murray Brown commented that “I’ve had considerable interest from teams and drivers for APRC 2008. I am very confident of a strong turn out for next year and believe the inclusion of the Asia Cup and Pacific Cup will boost entries at all the events. The introduction of the Cups provides an opportunity for those drivers and teams who may not have the resources to complete the full 6 APRC rounds, but could successfully contest 3 rounds, including their home event.”