The S2000 cars of Proton Motorsport and Team MRF battled throughout the 2012 championship for supremacy but eventually Australia’s Chris Atkinson made up for the disappointment of last year, to secure his first FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship driver’s title, while MRF secured the teams award and Skoda the manufacturer’s championship.
The Pacific Cup and Asia Cup competitors always add spice to the field and one those, Japan’s Yuya Sumiyama even won his home event outright and then went on to claim the Asia Cup at the final round in China.
Behind the main battle the two-wheel drive and Junior Cup titles were hotly contested. As it turned out both champions from 2011 retained their titles – Karamjit Singh winning the two-wheel drive Cup,
while Akira Bamba retained the Junior title after an intense battle with fellow junior Michael Young throughout the series. All the two-wheel drive competitors drove Group N Proton Satria 1600’s.
‘Man of the Match’ award goes to veteran and privateer Brian Green. The New Zealander was the only driver to start and finish all events and the only other competitor, a part from Atkinson who had any chance of winning the title at the final round.
Consistency wins championships was the story of 2012.
Looking ahead to 2013, the APRC calendar looks very similar, starting in May with New Zealand’s Rally of Whangarei and wrapping up the main title fight will again be China Rally in November.
One more event though this year is the welcome return of Thailand Rally in December, although it qualifies for Asia Cup only.