CUSCO are entered in the 2009 Asia Cup and lead driver Hiroshi Yanagisawa scored a handy 47 points on his home event in Hokkaido. As teams only need enter three event for Asia Cup Cusco skipped Malaysia and entered Rally Indonesia. After several years running Subaru’s the team switched to Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X for 2009 – this report is from team.
This year’s Rally Indonesia again based on Makassar, Capital of East Sulawesi Island. Just before rally start, huge earthquake hit Sumatra Island in same country, but fortunately rally venue had no affect from the tragedy and kicked off by ceremonial start on Friday evening on schedule. Day 1 was consisted by two loops of four stages while Day2 was set by two loops of three stages. The condition was dry and air temperature reached 40 degree in day time. Rally Indonesia adopt three minutes gap between each start due to considering heavy dust. However the dust would became mud if tropical squall visit which made road surface extremely slippery. And team’s ace Yanagisawa was one of victim of the squall on day 1.
Yanagisawa stood 3rd overall at morning loop of the Day 1 and attacked second loop in the afternoon. One of four stages which was set on day 1 was the longest stage of the event with 24km. When Yanagisawa made start of the second run of the long stage, the condition was still dry. But around 10km before the finish, suddenly the squall began which rapidly changed the surface to muddy. It was uncontrollable condition as later Yanagisawa expressed as “It was like kind of driving on snow with gravel tyre”. It was very hard to even making machine just forward and he was off the course even driving such a slow pace around 5km/h.The squall ironically stopped when Yanagisawa’s machine was stopped. Another bad luck hit Yanagisawa when he tried to put gear into reverse, the clutch left which made him unable to move. Also the transmission was failed rapidly which made him abandoned to drive rest of the day. Meanwhile team mate Sumiyama who challenged to first attendance to Indonesia event hit the stone like material inside the corner which bent tie-rod. He tried to continue the rally, however the tie-rod finally broken on following stage which put him withdrawn from Day 1.
Despite of both two cars withdrawn from Day1, but machine had any serious damage, team put both cars to run on Day2. As taking this opportunity as best circumstance for testing, team tried several task to make further improvement on their machine. Through the day, team showed strong passion to use any adverse situation to their chance for team’s newcomer machine including tasted different tyre cut by team’s two drivers. Also drivers showed their promising potential as Yanagisawa set third fastest time on opening stage of the day while Sumiyama recorded second fastest time on final stage of first attendance of here Indonesia. Yanagisawa also was ranked third position on individual result on Day2 which brought him one bonus point for Asia cup standings.
In addition Cody Crocker who won this event mathematically secured fourth APRC title in a row. Meanwhile Asia cup title will be decided on final round in China. Yanagisawa still has chance for third position.
Cusco Racing now is looking for their and also APRC/Asia cup’s final round “China Rally” which will be taken place from 14-15 November.
Watch all the CUSCO action from Rally Indonesia on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/aprctv#p/u/1/QtaLbTNttvA
Source: Team Release