Cody Crocker has cruised home for his sixth victory of the APRC season, the only driver to win an APRC event this year. Never troubled, Crocker’s victory was made easier during the opening day as the other crews ran into problems.
As was the case in 2008, the Longyou event extracted a heavy toll of retirements. First to go was Finn Juha Salo who retired on stage two, then Jari Ketomaa punctured and lost time on stage three. Both Jussi Valimaki and Hiroshi Yanagisawa stopped on stage four, Valimaki with electrical problems and Yanagisawa with a damaged oil cooler.
Next to go was Gaurav Gill, who struck engine problems on stage five, while his team mate Katsu Taguchi pulled out on stage nine with a bent lower control arm.
Alister McRae was back in the Proton S2000, and had finished Saturday in fourth outright. But Sunday was not so kind, the APRCs only Super 2000 car suffering mechanical damage on SS13.
Taguchi’s retirement was particularly important, as that opened the door for Emma Gilmore to overtake the Japanese driver on the championship points table. And although she suffered a broken hand during Sundays stages (as the result of the steering wheel hitting her as the car ran over a large rut), she eased her Subaru to the finish for another MotorImage ‘1-2’ and claim a series second place in her debut year.
Behind Crocker, CRC regulars Dean Herridge and Jari Ketomaa claimed the other outright podium positions, with Gilmore and Rifat Sungkar taking second and third places for the APRC field.
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China Rally – Final Results (Unofficial)
1. Cody Crocker/Ben Atkinson (AUS) Subaru Impreza 3:40.47,6
2. Dean Herridge/Chris Murphy (AUS) Subaru Impreza +4.32,8
3. Jari Ketomaa/Miika Teiskonen (FIN) Subaru Impreza +6.56,6
4. Rifat Sungkar/Scott Beckwith (RI/AUS) Mitsubishi Lancer +13.55,7
5. Yuya Sumiyama/Naoki Kase (J) Mitsubishi Lancer +17.17,9
6. Emma Gilmour/Claire Mole (NZ/GB) Subaru Impreza +17.58,0
7. Xu Jun/Liu Sheng (RC) Mitsubishi Lancer +21.46,3
8. Han Han/Sun Qiang (RC) Subaru Impreza +23.11,3
9. Fan Fan/Fang Junwei (RC) Mitsubishi Lancer +33.51,5
10. Shi Chunlei/Pan Hongyou (RC) Mitsubishi Lancer +43.14,4
Photos courtesy of Brian Young – www.apsm.tv