Current and former APRC drivers had a good weekend with New Zealander Brian Green winning the opening round of the 2012 Malaysian Rally Championship in an MRU Subaru, while on the other side of the globe fellow kiwi Hayden Paddon won the Rally Ronde Valtiberina an Italian National rally, driving a Group N HRT Mitsubishi with Fabrizia Ponz as co-driver.
MALAYSIA: Green’s win in Malaysia was made much easier when current champion Karamjit Singh ran into problems in the very rough conditions, loosing time in the second stage. Coming home second was Muhammad Rafiq also driving an MRU Subaru. “50 percent of the roads today were very rough throughout the stages. Karamjit went flat out and that’s why he killed the car. Brian also did the same and luckily he didn’t end up like him.” said MRU team owner Muhammad Rafiq. Green and Singh’s next event is the APRC’s opending round in New Zealand the Rally of Whangarei. www.rallywhangarei.co.nz .
ITALY: Coming from the snowy and ice bound Swedish Rally, WRC competitor Hayden Paddon was happy to get back on gravel ” Behind us were WRC, Super 2000 and Group N cars with a field of 84 teams starting the event. It was not without drama as we had to complete one stage on 3 cylinders, but other than that we had a trouble free run and started to get more and more used to the car as the day progressed – particularly the last stage. A big thanks to the HRT Motorsport team who did a great job and it was an honor to have Fabrizia Pons in the car who did a great job and also really enjoyed the day. It has been great to get back onto the gravel and it is a really good shakedown for us in preparation for Rally Portugal. We will be back here in Italy in another 2 weeks to compete in a similar type national rally”.