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GP Week : Issue 120
WRC NEWS >> 26 year-old rally driver Liu Cao Dong has died in tragic circumstances in his native China. It is understood he passed away yesterday (June 8) as a result of cerebral edema, having been admitted to hospital 10 days earlier whilst attending the wedding of a friend in Chengdu. Chinese media report that the illness was alcohol related. Based at Chongqing, he was regarded as China’s most promising rally driver. This was his tenth year of active rally driving and was the current Chinese national champion. He had recently been driving for the KST Group N Mitsubishi team, but also drove a Ford Focus WRC on the 2010 Wales Rally GB entered by the Stobart team. He was the first driver of his nation to rally a World Rally Car, and on the start list for the ceremonial first special stage, the rally organisers sent him off at the head of the field. This tragedy comes three years after China’s leading cross- country driver, Xu Lang, died in a freak accident during an event, when helping a fellow competitor, whose car was stuck on the route. British rally driver Mark Higgins has broken the car lap- record for the TT motorcycle racecourse in a Subaru Impreza, beating the 21 year-old record held by the late Tony Pond in a Rover 827 Vitesse. In 1990 Pond became the first car driver to cover the course at more than 100mph, probably the final sporting achievement in his career. Higgins covered the 37 mile (60km) course in just under 20-minutes. The modified production car was supplied by Subaru USA. Mark agreed to accept this assignment with his brother David, whose commitments with the Subaru USA Rally Team in America conflicted with the TT motorcycle races. The current outright record is held by John McGuinness on a Honda motorcycle at 17m12.30s. Higgins who celebrated his 40th birthday on May 21st lives in Wales, having been born on the island. Lap-Record an easy leap for Higgins China loses Rally Ace