Japanese driver Katsu Taguchi has won Rally Hokkaido, Round 2 of the 2010 Asia Pacific Rally Championship.
Taguchi’s win is his second of the season, after winning Malaysian Rally in April and takes the MRF Tyres Mitsubishi driver to a commanding lead in the APRC drivers title.
Second and only 9 seconds off the lead was Cusco’s Hiroshi Yanagisawa driving a Cusco prepared Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10. Yanagisawa pressured Taguchi all the way and was always in contention.
A disappointed third was Indian Gaurav Gill. The Indian driver was the overnight leader, but this morning hit a snow marker damaging the rear suspension. In the next stage the suspension broke loose and was lucky to make it back to service and finish the event.
The event overall was won by Toshi Arai in a Subaru.
Yuya Sumiyama was 4th in the 2nd Cusco Mitsubishi, with wildcard entry Fuyuhiko Takahashi 5th. After not finishing in Malaysia Tomohide Hasegawa secured points and 5th place in Asia Cup.
Proton were disappointed to not finish, after engine woes put Chris Atkinson car out and Alister hit a large rock on Saturday, breaking the sump and retiring. Both returned to day to set good times and the team is looking forward to the next event in Whangarei New Zealand.
– Taguchi’s win was the first event for new co-driver Chris Murphy
– Speeds of over 210 kph were common on both days
– First time the event has been run in early spring, snow was a common sight on the side of the road.
– Four wildcards were able to enter the event, two finished – Yuya Sumiyama and Fuyuhiko Takahashi.