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GP Week : Issue 59
Crocker Five Points Away from Title > WRCnews > AUSTRALIAN driver Cody Crocker (pictured top left) is five points away from his fourth successive FIA Asia Pacific title after winning the Malaysian Rally by a 10-minute margin from Subaru teammate Emma Gilmour. Third and final APRC qualifier to finish was Indonesian driver Rifat Sungkar in a Mitsubishi Evo 8 after early overheating troubles. Crocker’s closest championship rival Katsu Taguchi firstly hit a tree, then subsequently crashed his old Mitsu Evo 9 into an earth bank on the first day and was unable to continue. Once again this traditionally controversial rally was held in torrid conditions (nearly 40 degrees and with high humidity levels) but, despite overnight rain, was run in dry conditions. There were pre rally dramas. Emma Gilmour (pictured bottom left) needed a new codriver after Rhianon Smyth was injured in a rally accident in Australia and Claire Mole came from England as a replacement, while APRC contender Brian Green non started because his locally-rented Mitsubishi had been impounded by customs officials after a recent rally in Thailand. d dies WRC cars back for Ulster AFTER the Irish WRC rallying contingent mysteriously boycotted the recent Rally Isle of Man. World Rally Cars are back again in a British championship event, the ToddsLeap.com Ulster Rally, albeit still in a non points-scoring role, The race for the British rally title could hardly be tighter. This is the penultimate round of the six-event series and the two top protagonists, Mark Higgins and Keith Cronin, are lying equal on points, each with two maximum points and two second-best results. Because the final round will have a 1.5 points coefficient, eight drivers can still statistically win the series. The event again counts for the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship as well as the British series. Comfortable series leader is Eugene Donnelly in his Skoda Fabia WRC ahead of Gareth MacHale’s Ford Focus WRC. Six Finalists for PSD Asia-Pacific Shoot-out SIX finalists are to appear at Rally Australia for the Shoot-out to determine which driver from the region will drive the Asia Pacific car in the selected 2010 World Championship - and four of them are Australian! They are the Brendan Reeves, still recovering from his South Australian rally accident but who has vowed to be present, Eli Evans, New Zealander Hayden Paddon, Chinese driver Liu Cao Dong and two wild card entries, Nathan Quinn and Glen Raymond. APRC coordinator Murray Brown said “unfortunately we had hoped to have two more drivers but the representatives who earned their places for the Shoot-out at Hokkaido Rally and the Malaysian Rally have both announced that the cost of running a car in Australia is prohibitive”. 17