McRae wins Asia Pacific Rally Championship
Leading from the very first stage Perth-based Scotsman Alister McRae drove an exceptional event to win the China Rally and win the Asia Pacific Rally Championship drivers title.
Six stages were contested on Sunday in Muchen, Maojiapu and Luojia with a total distance of 124.74 kilometers. With a 58.8-second advantage after Saturday’s six stages, McRae played steady on Sunday and eventually won from Mitsubishi driver Jari Ketomaa of Finland by one minute and 14.3 seconds.
“I am very happy to win the annual drivers title in China,” said McRae
“I have to admit that Team Proton Motorsports was superb throughout the Longyou competition, without leaving any chance for other drivers.
“It’s a great weekend for everyone of us because the team also won the manufacturers title and the team crown, needless to say today’s victory was my first of the year.”
It was a clean sweep of trophies for Proton as the Malaysian manufacturer won the manufacturers championship, the Teams Trophy, the Asia and Pacific Cup.
McRae’s Australian team-mate Chris Atkinson won three APRC events in 2011 and the Pacific Cup for Proton, but on the China Rally just couldn’t keep pace with McRae and finished third overall.
After two punctures and losing over 5 minutes on the first day, Indonesian Rifat Sungkar overtook his Cusco-Pertamina team-mate on the final stages to secure enough points to finish third in the APRC drivers Championship.
Proton showed their current dominance of the APRC winning the two-wheel drive class, taking the Junior Cup with Japans’ Akira Bamba who won the class outright in China, while Malaysian champion brought his Proton Satria 1600 home and secure the APRC Two-Wheel drive Cup.