Yanagisawa leads Day 1

Hiroshi Yanagisawa leads day 1 of the 2008 China Rally by one minute and twenty-two seconds after a day long battle with current champion Cody Crocker. Yanagisawa led earlier in the day, then Crocker got back in front by 20 seconds.

In the final loop Crocker had a major gearbox problem and was lucky make back to service with only 5th gear left. Yanagisawa’s team-mate Yayu Sumiyama is third, just 7 seconds in front of Dean Herridge.

Herridge had major problems in the middle section of stages with a broken front differential and then gearbox problems. The Australian picked up 50 seconds in penalties after leaving service 5 minute late.

In 5th place is Takuma Kamada, two punctures robbed him of a better place while in 6th is Indonesian Rifat Sungkar. After crashing off in the super special, Sungkar is happy to be able to continue albeit witha 5 minute penalty. Brian Green is 7th in the only Mitsubishi entered in APRC China.

All the drivers are battling through mud and rain, with huge ruts appearing after stages are used three times. Tomorrow features a mountain stage with over 50 hairpins and with continuing rain its not over yet!!