GERMANY’S Fabian Kreim took the lead after two short super special stages that opened the International Rally of Whangarei in New Zealand tonight.
With little more one second separating first-placed Kreim from Team MRF teammate Gaurav Gill in second, and Scott Pedder in third, the battle for top honours promises to be hotly contested during tomorrow’s eight stages of the 2016 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship opening round.
SIMON Evans has won the 2016 Quit Forest Rally, the opening round of the Kumho Tyre Australian Rally Championship® in Nannup, Western Australia.
The win wasn’t a walk in the park for the four-time champion and co-driver Ben Searcy, who were pushed all the way by young gun Harry Bates and his co-driver John McCarthy.
Evans/Searcy and Bates/McCarthy finished the event with the same points based on their positions in both Heat One and Heat Two; however, a bonus point awarded Evans/Searcy for recording the most stage wins was enough to ensure the event victory.
The battle between the veteran Evans, 43, and tyro Bates, 20, along with other leading pilots including Justin Dowel, Molly Taylor, Mark Pedder and Adrian Coppin, will continue at the International Rally of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast on 17-19 June. Several of the Australian crews are expected also to contest the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship second round in Queensland, adding some Australia vs The Rest spice to the weekend.
MOLLY Taylor has completed more than 250 kilometres’ testing in Tasmania to prepare for her debut in the Subaru do™ Motorsport Impreza WRX STI next week.
She reported the factory-supported Subaru prepared by Les Walkden Rallying (LWR) ran faultlessly in the gravel test near Launceston and is ready for the Quit Forest Rally in Western Australia on 22-24 April. She will contest the International Rally of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast on 17-19 June.
SUBARU’S official return to the Australian Rally Championship is a step closer after the team employing driver Molly Taylor was named Subaru do™ Motorsport today.
The name aligns with a new brand direction for the make and was revealed in a mock-up of the team’s All-Wheel Drive WRX STI, which will tackle the International Rally of Queensland in June and all rounds of the 2016 Kumho Australian Rally Championship.
PHOTO: Mike Young and the Cusco Subaru tackle the Imbil stages on the 2015 International Rally of Queensland (Jeremy Rogers pic).
JAPANESE team Cusco Racing will return to the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship this year with a two-car Subaru entry for Mike Young of New Zealand and Sanjay Takale of India.
The experienced team’s parent company Carrosser announced last week it would contest the full six-round championship, including June’s International Rally of Queensland, with support from Dunlop tyres.