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Taguchi wins Malaysian Rally

Speedcafe.com

Monday 26th April, 2010 - 8:12am

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Katsu Taguchi and Mark Stacey win the Malaysian Rally

Katsu Taguchi and Mark Stacey win the Malaysian Rally

Japan’s Katsu Taguchi and Brisbane-based co-driver Mark Stacey in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X have won a dramatic Malaysian Rally, the opening round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

Overnight leader, Perth-based Scotsman Alister McRae and fellow West Australian co-driver Bill Hayes in a Proton Neo S2000 held a 27-second lead over Taguchi. However a heavy landing at the end of Stage 10; six stages from the finish, left his Proton with a damaged radiator and he was forced into retirement.

Taguchi never looked back as he seized the opportunity to coast home to victory in the 589km rally

“Accidents do happen in rallying and it can cost you the race,” said Taguchi.

“It has happened to me before. Today is my day I suppose. But to be honest I must admit that Alister has a very fast car and for me to close the gap would have been quite difficult.

“What’s more all of us have to face up to a very tricky venue with plenty of challenges, especially the condition of the track.”

In fact there was no happy ending for the Proton R3 team. Things were looking up until McRae’s mishap and the problems suffered by their other entrant, Chris Atkinson and Stephane Prevot with their electrical failure to their car.

“But that’s rallying,” said McRae.

“You can have a perfect day and then you pray everything will be fine the next. But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.”

India’s Guarav Gill and partner Glen Macneall (New Zealand-based Australian), also in a Mitsubishi EVO X, finished second.  Third was Indonesia’s Rifat Sungkar in a Subaru Impreza WRX with Queensland’s Chris Atkinson and Belgian co-driver Spehane Prevot recovering to finish fourth.

The next round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship is the Rally Hokkaido in Japan on 22nd-23rd May.

Final Results: Malaysian Rally

No

Driver

Car

Time

1

Katsu Taguchi

Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X

3:19.07.7

2

Gaurav Gill

Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X

+1:24.1

3

Rifat Sungkar

Subaru Impreza WRX

+26:58.6

4

Chris Atkinson

Proton Satria Neo S2000

+46:32.7

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