Katsu Claims Opening Leg

Scott PedderMRF driver Katsu Taguchi has dominated Leg 1 of Rally New Caledonia, and finished Saturdays stages with a comfortable 43 sec lead after claiming seven of the 11 stages contested.

After two super special stages in Noumea on Friday afternoon, the experienced Japanese driver started todays stages with a 10 second lead over his new team-mate Scott Pedder. And after a tight stage 3, where Pedder was less than a second slower, Taguchi started to build a lead, winning a further four stages throughout the day.

And although Pedder was never too far behind his team-mate, winning three stages himself, problems on the mornings second stage saw him drop 25 secs to gave Taguchi a comfortable buffer.

Dean HerridgeSitting in third place, Dean Herridge made a conservative start to the day, gradually increasing his speed in his new Cusco Subaru and claiming a win on the final stage to sit 37 secs away from Pedder. But while Herridge was moving forward as the day progressed, both Hiroshi Yanagisawa and Jean-Louis Leyraud fell away from the day wore on.

Yanagisawa will start Sunday 19 secs behind his team-mate, Leyraud a further 7 secs back, while Brian Green holds down 5th.

Sunday offers four stages, with two passes of the 30km monster Katrikoin. For stages times throughout the day, check www.rallye-nc.net, while www.aprc.tv will have a full report at the end of the event.

This article originally appeared on aprclive.com and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship or its partner organisations.

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