Jul 18, 2012


15 JULY 2012, JOHOR BAHRU- The conditions were tough and made worse by the overnight rain but Alister McRae kept his feet firmly planted on the ground to win the Malaysian leg of the Asia Pacific Rally Champion (APRC) under such difficult circumstances yesterday.

As the wet weather continues to hover over the Tai Tak Estate route yesterday, the participants knew very well that the challenges ahead were going to be enormous but McRae and co-driver Bill Hayes in their Proton Satria Neo 2000 sailed through the muddy terrain to win the race in a total time of 2hrs 57mins 31.5secs.

Lying third after Saturday's opening round, McRae went into Round 2 yesterday knowing very well that he has to keep an eye on the road and make sure his vehicle  stay on course, which he did in style.

"It was such a challenging race. But we came through in the end and I am happy for the team and my co-driver. That's the nature of rallying. You win some and you could lose some too," said McRae. Chris Atkinson in a Skoda Fabia 2000 came in second with a total time of 3hrs 21mins 06.6secs with Brian Green in a Subaru Impreza third in 3hrs 24mins 08.1secs.

"Alister and I had such an interesting tussle but in the end he won and my congratulations to him. It was such a demanding race but in the end he was better," said Atkinson.

The race also saw the overnight leader Per-Gunnar Anderson of Sweden in a Proton  Satria Neo suffering an setback  when his electronic system failed to function which left him out of contention.

In a double swoop McRae also won the Malaysian Rally Championship round with the Cusco Racing team of Yuya Sumiyama and co-driver Naoki Kase in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X coming in second in a time of 3hrs 13min 32.2secs while third was Chris Atkinson and Stephane Prevot in their Skoda Fabia 2000.

Karamjit Singh, the defending Malaysian Rally Championship winner, was fifth in 3hrs 24mins 56.6secs in his Proton Satria Neo 2000.

"It is still a wide open race for the Malaysian Rally Championship. With two more rounds to go, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan, there are still enough points to fight for," he said.

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