Japanese driver Katsu Taguchi has won the APRC Rally of Hokkaido by 2.3 seconds from Hiroshi Yanagisawa after a great battle throughout the final day. Australians Dean Herridge and Cody Crocker came home 3rd and 4th and only separated by 19.8 seconds. Torrential rain on day 1 caused several stages to be cancelled and stage 6 the most dramatic of all with rivers of water running down the roads.
At 30 kilometres it turned into a mud bath with all APRC competitors making it through, but number one on the road Cody Crocker had to push his way through the slush loosing over a minute to Taguchi and stage winner Yanagisawa, who ran the last 10km with a rear wheel puncture. Cars further down the order benefitted hugely with less water on the road, including Indian driver Gaurav Gill who moved into 2nd place – a position the MRF driver held until the final morning when his gearbox broke.
Taguchi’s win means he re-takes the championship lead for the first time since round 1. He now sits on 43 points, just 3 points clear of Cody Crocker, while Dean Herridge remains in third place on 32 points.
A full event report will be available from www.aprc.tv soon, while the Rally Hokkaido podcast from APRC Live will be ready within a couple of days.
Source: Brian Young – APRC.TV