New Zealand rally driver Mike Young, paired with Australian co-driver Glenn Macneall, convincingly won the weekend’s Rally Hokkaido round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, powered by Würth.
Covering 16 special stages through the lush countryside of northern Japan, Young returned to the ceremonial finish with a winning margin of just over seven minutes.
Second was Japan’s Atsushi Masumura and Shizuka Takehara while Eiichi Iwashita and Shoichi Amako secured third.
The penultimate round of the four-round Asia Cup, Young set fastest time in every stage – and now takes a commanding points lead into the season final. It was a euphoric moment for the team – with Young taking the Cusco prepared Toyota C-HR to a win at its first event.
“It’s really really awesome to have the win on debut with the C-HR – it couldn’t have gone any better,” said 26-year-old Young.
“Having done three days of testing with the car, I knew what it was like – that it was strong. All I had to do was concentrate on my job and most importantly, have fun.”
Attention now turns to the final where all eligible teams will compete for the all-in winner takes all final – being held at Longyou, China, from 26 to 27 October.
Pos., Driver / Co-driver, Region, Car, Time.
1, Michael YOUNG / Glenn MACNEALL, NZ/AUS, TOYOTA C-HR, CUSCO RACING, RC2, 2hr04:11.2
2, Atsushi MASUMURA / Shizuka TAKEHARA, JPN/JPN, MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION X, SUPER ALEX TROOP, RC2, +7:18.2
3, Eiichi Iwashita / Shoichi Amako, JPN/JPN, MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION IX, STREETLIFE WORLD RALLY TEAM, +36.4
4, Yasushi AOYAMA / Taku ISEYA, JPN/JPN, SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI Spec, CCUSCO RACING, +1:02.7
5, Fuyuhiko TAKAHASHI / Mitsuo NAKAMURA, JPN/JPN, SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI, Ahresty Rally Team, RC2, +3:02.8
6, Mitsuhiro AOKI / Shigeru IKEDA, JPN/JPN, MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION X, IMMENS MOTORSPORT, +1:52.0
7, Hiroshi HOSHINO / Hiroki TAKAHASHI, JPN/JPN. SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI, TAKAYAMA COLLEGE RACING TEAM, +1:10.2
8, Nao OTAKE / Noriko TAKESHITA, JPN/JPN, TOYOTA VITZ, CUSCO RACING, RC5, +5:29.1
9, Yuki KOHAMA / Megumi FUJITA, JPN/JPN, TOYOTA 86, TRD, RC3, +2:10.6
10, Tomohide HASEGAWA / Yasuyuki ATSUCHI, JPN/JPN, MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION X, HASEPRO RACING, +8:23.8
Photos: Courtesy rally-hokkaido.com