Crocker drops to third with puncture

Subaru rally driver Cody Crocker’s Rally Indonesia campaign ended in disappointment when a flat tyre on the penultimate stage saw victory slip from his grasp. Crocker, who trailed Indian driver Gaurav Gill by 15 seconds after the opening day, had just claimed the lead with two stages remaining when his tyre deflated, and along with that his hopes of a top points haul from the event as well.

Instead Gill took the title in Indonesia and Crocker’s major championship rival, Katsu Taguchi, went further ahead in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship battle. Gill won the rally by one minute 6.9 seconds from Taguchi, with Crocker, driving the MotorImage Impreza WRX STI, a further one minute 16.8 seconds back in third.

Taguchi started the event with a three point buffer over the Victorian, but he added 13 points to take his total to 56. He is now eight points clear of Crocker, who scored eight from the weekend to amass 48 points for the season. While disappointed to not maximise his opportunities in Indonesia, Crocker is still well placed to secure a third straight APRC title. Taguchi has only Rally Malaysia to score points, while Crocker has that event and Rally China.

“Getting a flat right then was frustrating, but that’s rallying and we’ve walked away still in touch with Taguchi,” Crocker said. “I’d say besides our home event in Canberra, Malaysia and China are our two best away events. “So we’ll go into those confident of doing well, and if we do that, we’re in the box seat to make it three titles in a row. “But what today has shown is how quickly things can change. After a slow morning yesterday when we were right down on power, and an afternoon where we definitely went with the wrong tyres, we were right on the money with two stages to go today. “Then a flat and all of a sudden got a more of a battle on our hands to win the championship.”

The series takes a break for eight weeks with the next round of APRC, Rally Malaysia, on October 11 and 12.