APRC 2009 – Malaysia

By • Sep 22nd, 2009 • Category: Transcripts

Transcript of APRC Live – Rally Malaysia 2009

Cody Crocker is now just a few points away from an historic 4th consecutive championship title, after a runaway victory at the Malaysian Rally.

Hi I’m Bruce McKinnon and welcome back to APRC Live and our coverage of the 5th round of the 2009 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

Last year, the Jahor-round of the series saw some of the wettest conditions ever experienced in the series. This year provided a new challange with a change of location, all-new stages putting all the drivers on equal terms.

But once again Crocker sprinted from the start, putting pressure on championship rival Katsu Taguchi by taking a minute 44 sec advantage on the very first stage. By the time the crews completed the first loop of 4 stages, Crocker had a lead of almost 3 minutes, setting tone for the rest of the event.

— IV: Crocker – Morning 1 – End of SS4 – 0:01 – 0:31

By contrast, Rally Malaysia was a disaster for Taguchi. A puncture on the first stage was followed by a collision with one of the numerous palm oil trees that line the stages. By the time he returned to service park after stage 6, the Japanese champion had dropped to almost 4 minutes behind Crocker.

The MRF team elected to run mud tyres for the final two stages, but the gamble back-fired badly. Without sufficient heat in his tyres, Taguchi ran wide on the first corner of stage 7 and slide into a deep drain, he and co-driver Mark Stacey unhurt, but his Evo 9 Lancer left stranded in a drain.

— IV: Katsu – Crashed SS07 – 0:08 – 0:15, 0:22-1:11

And it was double-pain for the MRF team. Taguchi’s Indian team-mate Gaurav Gill had been bouyed by a trouble-free rrun on the second leg of Rally Japan. But his persistent brake and tyre problems returned in Malayasia, the brakes fading after the first stage, and double-puncture spelling the end his day during stage 2.

— IV: Gaurav – Leg 1 Service: 0:08 – 1:20

By contrast, Crocker’s team-mate Emma Gilmore was surprising her team bosses with a determined run through the opening day. A Malaysian debutant, the conditions were completely foreign to her plus she was forced to team with stand-in co-driver Clair Mole, rushed in to replace Rhiannon Smyth at short notice.

But Gilmore took the rally in her stride, and while others faltered, she made steady progress to complete leg 1 in 2nd second place.

— IV: Emma – Leg 1 Service – 0:10 – 0:49

Although Gaurav Gill rejoined the rally on Sunday morning and claimed 2nd place bonus points for leg 2, Emma held on for a classy second place overall, her best result in the championship so far, putting the MotorImage cars at the top of the podium.

— Email Sweeper

Just before we complete our Rally Malaysia coverage, lets catch up with some APRC news. And one team that was noticable for their absense was Brian Green and Fleur Pedersen. The Kiwi crew were last minute withdrawals after a logistics mix-up left them without a car to compete in. And with the tight shipping schedules between events, they may also be forced to miss the next round in Indonesia.

As we mentioned earlier, Scottish co-driver Clair Mole partnered Emma Gilmore in the #3 Motor Image Subaru. The change of co-driver was forced after Emma’s regular co-driver Rhiannon Smyth was involved in a high-speed accident just two weeks earlier while competing at Rally Sth Australia. Rhiannon and her brother Brendan Reeves collided with a tree, leaving Rhiannon with multiple brakes to both legs, and Brendan with concussion and spinal injuries.

Both are making good recoveries, but their injuries has forced Brendan to withdraw from the Pirelli Star Driver shoot out at next months Rally Australia. Reeves was one of the favourites to take out the Star Driver award, but it now looks like it will be fight between Eli Evans and Hayden Paddon for the fully-funded PWRC drive in 2010.

Brendan’s withdrawal also makes way for Cody Crocker to reunite with former team boss Les Walkden, Crocker and co-driver Ben Atkinson stepping into a Walkden Subaru for a one-off drive in the PWRC category.

But it was the Proton Super 2000 that was the talk of Rally Malaysia, with Proton and 3-time APRC title holder Karamjit Singh joining forces for the Asia Cup.

Singh is a legend in both the APRC and Malyasian rallying circles, and is a popular figure in the service park and with the strong contingent of specators who watched the event. Unfortunantely a small mistake on stage 2 left him stranded in one of the deep ditches that run beside the roads.

It is, however, a learning year for Proton, Singh and Mellors Elliott Motorsport, who are developing the Proton. APRC TVs Brian Young caught up with Chris Mellors to discuss the new car.

— IV: Chris Mellors – 0:05 – end

Although Saturday wasn’t so kind to Karamjit, Sunday was better, the Proton S2000 experiencing a few dramas, but making it to the finish line.

— IV: Singh – Finish – 0:08 – 1:23, 2:00 – 2:53

Another former APRC regular has also returned for the Asia Cup. Rifat Sungkar, Cody Crocker’s former team-mate at Motor Image, was back in his brothers Rizal’s Evo 8. The car was a little under-prepared, with Rifat expereiencing a variety of engine dramas during leg 1. But he made through Saturday in third place, a position he held during Sunday’s stages to complete a great comeback to the APRC.

— IV: Rifat – Finish – 0:11 – 0:50

Gaurav Gill rejoined the rally on Sunday, and had a good run, taking 4 stage wins and staying well ahead of Emma Gilmore to take two bonus points for leg 2.

It gave MRF at least something to smile about, because on the other side of the service tent, things wern’t so happy. Desperate for bonus points, Katsu Taguchi went all out. He and Crocker dead-heated the first stage on Sunday, Katsu won the second, but on stage 11 it all came unstuck.

— IV: Katsu – Leg 2 Service: 0:05 – 0:51, 1:02 – 1:27, 2:00 – end

And that just left Cody Crocker to cruise to the finish. In all he won 11 of the 16 stages, grabbing maxiumum championship points yet again.

— IV: Cody – Finish – 0:10 – 0:35, 1:00 – 1:48

So Cody Crocker takes a commanding 27 point lead to Rally Indonesia, an event which has proved to be his weakest in the series. Katsu Taguchi has always been strong in Indonesia, but unless the Motor Image team falter, the series may now have slipped through his hands. For the first time in a long time, Taguchi walked away from an event without adding to his points tally , and is now being hounded by Emma Gilmore who jumps to just two points shy of the Japanese driver.

And Gaurav Gill will be encourgaged by his leg 2 performance, as he returns to the event where he scored his debut APRC victory.

But until Rally Indonesia, which starts on the 3rd of October, lets leave the final word to the brains behind the Motor Image team. Motor Image completly dominated this event, and principal Glenn Tan and team Manager Philip Rogers left Rally Malaysia very happy men.

— IV: Glenn 0:05 – 0:45, Philip 0:03 – 0:34, 0:43 – 1:45

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