With the global recession affecting all corners of the motorsport world, leading APRC team MRF are now openly questioning whether they have a future in the APRC. And if they do, does that future includes long-time driver Katsu Taguchi?
Speaking to Anand Philar yesterday, MRF General Manager Anthony Rodricks said, “At this moment, we are unsure about our participation in the 2009 Asia Pacific Rally Championship or for that matter, motor sport activities”. “As for the 2009 APRC, if we participate, we might opt for a one-car team, but certainly not three cars like in the past two years. If it is just one car, then most likely Gaurav Gill will drive”.
Adding to the doubt over MRFs participation is the complete withdrawal of Mitsubishi from motorsport, and with it the support offered by the Japanese manufacturer. If it is the case that MRF returns with just one car, the curtain will be drawn on Katsu Taguchi’s five year relationship with the Indian tyre giant.
Although he’s not been able to repeat his 1999 championship title, last year Taguchi was the only driver to really worry Cody Crocker in the fight for the championship title. MRF are expected to make an announcement about their involvement early in March.