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GP Week : Issue 14
MICHAL Bebenek led the Polish Rally from SS3 to the end, scoring a victory that took everyone by surprise. Helped by favourable surface conditions his borrowed Mitsubishi took over from original leader Tomas Kuchar, and the Peugeot of reigning champion Bryan Bouffier. Bebenek comes from Bochnia, near Krakow, and was a protégé of the late three times national titleholder Janusz Kulig. He dedicated his victory to his old mentor at the finish. Super 2000 cars disappointed, only winning two of the 14 stages. Kosciuszko crashed his Peugeot heavily on the second day, and former European rally champion, now European Member of Parliament Krzysztof Holowczyc, had a troubled run in his Kronos team Peugeot. Patrik Flodin, guest driver in the Subaru Impreza N14 normally driven by the injured Leszek Kuzaj, struggled to finish sixth overall. The current ERC leader Luca Rossetti, absent at the Salento Rally in Italy, still heads the European series. ERC: Surprise Win for Bebenek CHRIS West was the overall winner on the Whangarei Rally, third placed Cody Crocker won the APRC category, but it was 21-year- old second place Haydon Paddon who won the best prize … Round 3 of the FIA Asia Pacific series was held in the North Island of New Zealand, and counted as a trial run for the one-shot APRC Pirelli Star Driver award to be held later in Malaysia. Two under-27-year-old runners on this event earned sponsorship to travel to Malaysia, with selection based on the number of fastest stage times in the event for the eligible drivers, irrespective of whether or not they finished the event. The other driver will be Brad Ayling. Australian Crocker, who had decided to run a more reliable old model Impreza for the rest of this season, has taken the lead in the APRC from Mitsubishi driver Katsuhiko Taguchi. Crocker is the reigning APRC Champion. APRC: Paddon Wins the Biggest Prize RALLY WRAP >> 51