The 2016 APRC comes to DUKE

thumbMEDIA RELEASE: DUKE is putting you in the driver’s seat of the 2016 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

Watch as drivers from all over the globe push it to the limit- and beyond – in one of the most challenging FIA sanctioned motorsports championships in the world!

With New Zealand hosting the opening round of the 2016 APRC on 30th April in Whangarei and Kiwi Mike Young one of the championship’s top drivers, DUKE couldn’t be a better home for the seven-part series.

After Whangarei the championship travels to the International Rally of Queensland, Australia followed by the China Rally – located near the Mongolian border. Japan’s northern most island of Hokkaido is host to the next event, followed by the extreme heat and humidity of the Malaysian Rally with the finale in December, the Rally of India.

Winner of Motorsports NZ’s Elite Motorsport academy in 2015, 23-year old Kiwi driver Mike Young has finished second outright in the APRC for the past two years and is the youngest driver to win the FIA Asia Cup. In 2016, Young will drive a Group N Subaru Impreza for the Japanese based Cusco EZY Racing team. Young’s co-driver in the APRC is fellow New Zealander Malcolm Read.

Along with the Kiwi crew, the APRC attracts top competitors from Japan, India, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and this year a challenge from Europe with German driver Fabian Kreim lined up to pilot one of the factory backed MRF Skoda Fabia R5s.

TVNZ’s Executive Vice President for Sports, John West, says:
“We couldn’t ask for a better way to get the season coverage underway on DUKE with the championships starting on home turf. Motorsport has a committed following in New Zealand and we expect viewer interest will be at a high. DUKE’s live streaming puts fans in the driving seat with greater viewing choice – you can watch on your mobile device or desktop or watch on TV. And however you watch, with us it’s all available free-to-view.”

“The APRC is broadcast all through the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Americas to millions of viewers. Having a channel like DUKE broadcast the APRC TV series through New Zealand is fantastic news for the sport. With all the events in different countries and continents, there’s a cultural and geographic element to the TV programmes as well as the action and excitement”, said Brian Young director of APRC Television and Media.

Championship Description

The Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) is an official F.I.A. regional rally championship, held in a diverse range of countries, climates, cultures and with a huge population base of over 2.7 billion people.

In 2016 six events make-up the championship starting in New Zealand followed by Queensland, Australia and then onto Asia – China, Japan, Malaysia and India. Teams and drivers from Europe, China, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand are entered driving the latest rally cars from Skoda, Subaru, Proton, Mitsubishi and Toyota.

From the fast flowing gravel roads of New Zealand, to the desert conditions in Western China and the rough plantation tracks of the Malaysian Rally, this championship is a unique challenge.

APRC.TV Ltd has been the official television producer for the championship since 1999 and in 2015, 351 million TV viewers in 196 countries watched coverage of the APRC.

Event Locations and Description

New Zealand
The International Rally of Whangarei gets the championship off to a fast start. These iconic New Zealand rally roads having a world-wide reputation for their fast-flowing cambered character and were formerly used by the World Rally Championship.

Based in the sea-side city of Maroochydore, the International Rally of Queensland is a combination of in-land forest and public roads. The event combines many characteristics – fast and flowing, tight and twisty on surfaces that can be rough and slippery.

A new location for 2016 based in the city of Zhangye, the China Rally will run on desert roads near the Mongolian border and where one of the many hazards are the herds of camels. The event offers a unique window on the new-world of China where rallying is hugely popular with manufacturer supported teams and 130+ competitors.

The city of Obihiro is the home for Rally Hokkaido on Japan’s most northern island. Previously a WRC event and followed by passionate rally fans, Rally Hokkaido is a mixture of fast narrow forestry roads and public road stages that are similar to New Zealand. Japan’s car and tyre manufacturing industry is well represented on the event with works supported teams and engineers.

‘Rallying in a Sauna’ apply describes the very hot and humid Malaysian Rally based in the city of Johor Baru, just across the causeway from Singapore. With roads and tracks that run through the nearby Oil Palm plantations the Malaysian Rally can be rough and after a tropical down-pour, the roads can turn into rivers.

A new event for the APRC in 2016, Rally of India brings with it huge opportunities in this rapidly growing and diverse country that has a population of over 1 billion people. The Rally of India is based in Chikmagalur and runs on roads through a giant coffee plantation.