First home after a time-tabled 18 special stages, they were followed by Atsushi Masumura and Shizuka Takehara in a Mitsubishi Lancer. Third was a charging Mike Young and Malcolm Read in the Toyota Yaris.
Having won the majority of the stages it was a Saturday afternoon suspension failure that cost the New Zealand pairing a serious chance of a better placing.
The third round of the APRC and first for the Asia cup, threw multiple challenges at the six-car field. Weather variations from muddy wet to pleasant sunshine, gravel and tarmac kept the teams guessing at what was coming next. That included Kawana who punctured on the Saturday on his way to inheriting the lead.
The series now returns to the Pacific for the fourth round and third for the Pacific Cup – being contested at the Subaru Rally Tasmania 22 – 23 June.
Montre Rally 2019, APRC results (provisional)
1. S. KAWANA/T. ISEYA, Citroen DS3, 1:23:25.5
2. A. MASUMURA/S. TAKEHARA, MITSUBISHI LANCER, 1:23:47.5
3. M. YOUNG/M. READ, TOYOTA CUSCO YARIS 4WD, 1:24:02.0
4. Y. KOHAMA/M. FUJITA, Toyota 86, 1:27:28.1
Photo – Kotake