Taguchi is the champion, Yanagisawa leads APRC China Rally

It’s been a very dramatic day at the final round of the APRC China Rally.

Katsu Taguchi is the 2010 Asia Pacific Rally Championhip drivers champion, yet he crashed out on Stage 2. It was a big crash at nearly 150 kph and while the stage was stopped, thankfully Taguchi and co-driver were on slightly hurt.

First to stop and offer assistance were team-mates Gaurave Gill and Glenn MacNeall and once restarted the pair should have gone on to win the title themselves, but they too crashed out a few stages later.

That left the only other title contender Rifat Sungkar but he too retired with differential problems.

After all the dramas Proton took the APRC lead with Chris Atkinson just ahead of team-mate Alistair McRae, but then Atkinson punctured and McRae took the lead.

In stage 8 McRae punctured and Cusco driver Yayu Sumiyama took over the lead position.

In the final stage of the day Sumiyama’s Mitsubishi lost power to let his team-mate Hiroshi Yanagisawa take over the APRC lead by 5 seconds. McRae is third 1 minute and 17 seconds further back.

The MRF cars will not start the second day and therefore Katsu Taguchi is the APRC drivers champion. Glenn McNeall is the co-drivers champion and the only competition yet to be decided is the Asia Cup.

Tomorrow there are 6 more stages totalling 83 kilometres before the finish.