Subaru rally driver Cody Crocker will be aiming for his third consecutive Rally of Malaysia victory when the sixth round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship is held this weekend. The MotorImage team driver and his co-driver, Ben Atkinson, have won the event for the previous two years, and would dearly love another victory as they chase their third consecutive APRC title.
Crocker currently sits in second place in the APRC, six points behind Japan’s Katsu Taguchi. However, the Subaru driver has contested one less event than his rival. With the Mitsubishi man set to miss the final round in China, the title looks to be there for the taking. “We’d really like a good result as this is the home event for the MotorImage team, given that it’s the closest rally to their Singapore base,” Crocker said. “The plan is to beat Katsu (Taguchi) this weekend. Given that he will not be competing in China, our destiny is in our own hands, so a good result will go a long way to securing the title again.”
Crocker has been working at the Singapore motorshow, and was a guest at the first ever Singapore Formula 1 race. With his family present for this weekend’s rally, he’d love to secure a third APRC crown. “Ideally I’d like to be able to win this weekend and celebrate a championship win with my family, but that’s not our sole goal. We need to make sure we finish and get a good points haul,” he said.
The Rally of Malaysia is based in the city of Johor Bahru, with the special stages of the rally to be run to the north, in the vicinity of Kota Tinggi. After a ceremonial start on Friday evening, the rally takes place over two days and includes 14 special stages for a total competitive distance of nearly 227 kilometres.
Temperatures around the 30 degree mark are expected, and with high humidity, driver fitness could play a key role. “Malaysia has been a great rally for us in the past, and we know it’s likely to be very hot and humid again,” Crocker added. “The roads have a clay base, and if it rains they become extremely slippery. The wet conditions have been good for us in the past, as I seem to adapt well in the wet. “Making the right tyre choices in changing conditions will be critical to achieving a good result, especially if we have to cut tyres. “But we’ve got some great data from the previous rallies we have done in Malaysia, and that will be very useful in terms of tyre choice this weekend, particularly if it does rain. “While we don’t have the championship lead at the moment, that could all change if things go to plan this weekend,” he said.
Following the Rally of Malaysia, the final event on the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship is the Rally of China, to be held on November 8 and 9.