Two APRC favourites, Brian Green and Dean Herridge, have spent the weekend battling the mud on the China’s remote northern border.
Both drivers are regulars in the Chinese Rally Championship, with Brian piloting a Mitsubishi Lancer for 000-Motor Sports, while Dean is lead driver for Subaru Rally Team China. But this round of the series was new to everyone, the first time the CRC has visited Mohe.
Rally Mohe was staged over roads near the Heilongjiang River, which forms the border with Russia. And although the rain set in on Thursday, the hard and fast roads lost none of their speed.
"It was a very high-speed rally. To give you an idea, we averaged 142 km/h over stages that were 25kms and 30 kms long. In the WRC, stage speeds average 120km/h. One of my notes was a ‘700 flat over crest, flat 400’; so more than a kilometre flat-out. To do those types of speeds in Group N cars was incredible!", Herridge commented after the event.
Unfortunately, Dean was unable to make the most of his brand-new Subaru GRB, brake problems on the first two stages and an engine failure at the end of day one cut short his weekend. But when the car was working, he and co-driver Chris Murphy set impressive times. Only Englishman David Higgins, who eventually won the rally, was able to better the pace of the #13 Subaru.
"The speed was really good", said the West Australian on his return home. "We’ve been buoyed by the run we had. The handling of the car on the high-speed sections was fantastic, and we managed to beat some fairly good ex-Prodrive Subarus in the process. Unfortunately we got to the end of stage 3 and there was a bit of a rattle from the engine and some oil smoke. I backed off a bit on the long stage (SS4, 30km) and still managed to get second!"
By contrast, Brian Green’s event was another example of the quiet consistency he displays at APRC rounds. Never out of the top 7, Brian used his wealth of rallying experience to bring his Lancer home in 5th place, while his team-mate Higgins took the victory.
Dean and Brian have a short break before returning to China for the Changbai Mountain Rally which begins in the final week of September.
Rally Mohe Final Results
1. David Higgins 0:56:54.8
2. Wei Hongjie +0:02:39.4
3. Tony Green +0:03:09.3
4. Liu Dong Cao +0:03:39.2
5. Brian Green +0:04:33.3