Seven drivers vie for overall title

This weekend’s China Rally Longyou, the final round of the 2019 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, powered by Würth, will decide the overall champion.

In a winner-takes-all showdown, any one of the seven teams starting are in with an equal chance of the overall crown.

Standing in their way are 13 special stages, covering 220.82km of in-land Chinese rural roads, threaded through the bamboo forest region of Longyou.

Competition starts on the Friday afternoon with a 1.82km super special stage, ahead of a repeat loop of three stages on the Saturday.
Sunday’s repeated loop of three stages culminates in the overall winner and APRC champion being crowned at the RongChang Square ceremonial finish.

Of the seven teams entered, three are from Japan, three from New Zealand and one from China. While Japan’s Katsu Taguchi lifted the title in 2010 and New Zealand’s Possum Bourne in 2000, there exists a real possibility Chinese driver Lin Dewei could add his name to the list of champions.

Andrew Hawkeswood, Otago Rally 2019
Sub to the overall is the final round of the Asia Cup – led by New Zealand’s Mike Young. With a nearly insurmountable lead for the cup, Japan’s Suguru Kawana will be laying in wait for any opportunity to leap-frog Young to the top of the standings.
Mike Young, Rally Whangarei 2019
Of the variables for the weekend, weather isn’t likely to be one of them. Temperate conditions of 25degC and calm dry weather are predicted.

APRC Asia Cup and Overall Title Entry List
Nao Otake/Noriko Takeshita, JPN, Toyota Vitz, Cusco Racing, A/N
Mike Young/Malcolm Read, NZL, Toyota C-HR, Cusco Racing, A/N
Suguru Kawana/Takahiro Yasui, JPN, Citroen DS3 R3, Cusco Racing, A/N
Yuki Kohama/Megum Fujita, JPN, Toyota Yaris, Cusco Racing, A/N
Andrew Hawkeswood/Jeff Cress, NZL, Mazda 2, Mazda Team, P/N/T
Jack Hawkeswood/Alex Parkin, NZL, Mazda 2, Mazda Team, P/N/T
Lin Dewei/Le Kepeng, CHN/TPE, Subaru XV, Subaru Rally Team China, A