With the Asia Pacific Rally Championship drivers and co-drivers title wrapped up for a third time, Motor Image duo Cody Crocker and Ben Atkinson should be able to relax and have fun at this weekends China Rally, but that is not the case.
“We’ve had pretty tough year and for sure alot of the pressure is off now, but we’ve still got the Asia Cup we can win. We’re one point in front of Hiroshi Yanagisawa in the CUSCO Subaru so this event will be flat out. Its going to be a big challenge as always and while the weather is nice today, there has been a lot of rain and when the red clay turns to mud, its incredibly slippery. Some corners are more slippery than others and its these that catch you out, we even had a few offs in our recce car. We’re first car on the road too so we don’t have anyone to show us where the bad corners are” said Crocker at Shakedown and added. “We’ve also got the manufacturers championship to wrap up here, but with a ten point advantage its pretty much a Subaru title, provided one of the 4 or 5 Subarus entered here makes it to the finish and that shouldn’t be difficult”.
The Asia Cup will be the main battle in China and Crocker’s one point lead over Yanagisawa will mean both drivers will be going for maximum points. Neither of them should forget that just behind is Indonesia Rifat Sungkar in the second Motor Image car who’s third and only 8 points off the lead. “We had a great result in Malaysia finishing on the podium and now we have a good chance in the Asia Cup, but also if we can get maximum points an opportunity to finish third in the Asia-Pacific drivers title – an outside chance maybe but we’re going to give it our best shot. We’ve done alot of preparation and work with the Pirelli tyres because this is China where the roads are very twisty, very narrow and very slippery”.
Australian Dean Herridge returns to the championship entered by the Subaru China Rally team and running a new shaped Subaru Impreza. After winning the Pacific Cup earlier in the year Herridge is currently 4th in the drivers championship, one point behind his former CUSCO team-mate Yanagisawa .