MRF 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.
Sitting 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.