Motor Image Subaru driver Rifat Sungkar confirmed his plans for 2008 at a press conference held in Jakarta earlier this week. As last year, Sungkar will compete in six rounds of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship with the Motor Image Subaru team supported by Pertamina and for 2008 Australian Bill Hayes will join the team as Rifat’s full-time co-driver. Alongside the APRC programme the pair will compete for honours in the Indonesian Rally Championship, that starts this weekend with Round 1 in South Sumatera (8-9th March).
“I’m looking forward to a full year with Subaru and working with Bill Hayes, there’s lots to learn and work on for the future. I’ve been training hard, running 4-5 kilometres around a giant stadium in central Jakarta every day and I feel fit and ready” said Sungkar at the press conference. Bill Hayes was equally enthusiastic having co-driven for Sungkar in last years APRC Rally Hokkaido. “My first job is to get some systems in place so that things inside the car happen automatically, we don’t have to think about them. Of course we’ll be working on the pace notes and the more events we do, the more that will come naturally. Rifat’s been working on his fitness and that’s extremely important in our sport, just to keep that level of concentration up at critical times”.
The first event for the Motor Image team will be Canberra Rally, where Australians Cody Crocker and Ben Atkinson will set out to defend their Asia Pacific titles.