Katsu Taguchi has completed a flawless rally in New Caledonia, leading the rally from start to finish. For the 1999 APRC champ, New Caledonia was his first victory in the series since July 1995. The win means Taguchi takes maximum points from the opening round.
With only four stages set down for Sunday, the leading crews would have been looking to consolidate their positions. But the first stage of the morning, the infamous Katrakoin stage, claimed two of the top four competitors, MRF’s Scott Pedder and Cusco’s Hiroshi Yanagisawa both retiring on the stage.
Pedders retirement allowed the other Cusco car of Dean Herridge to sneak up into second overall, while Brian Green bagged third for the APRC-registered cars.
Taguchi’s win is a big confidence boost for both him and MRF, with the next event on the APRC calendar, Rally Canberra, an event that suits Taguchi driving style. But the competition will be fierce. Not only will Canberra mark the first appearance this year of the MotorImage and Arai Motorsport teams, it’s also a home round for Pedder, Herridge and defending champ Cody Crocker.
Keep checking back at aprclive.com; the podcast of Rally New Caledonia will be ready mid-week.