Published on August 25th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez



JOHOR BAHRU, Sunday – He is the only registered driver to finish the Malaysian round of the APRC after the day one drama which wiped out the entire APRC field. Indeed it’s a dream result for Micheal Young whom drives a Toyota Vitz RS for Cucso Racing. Knowing that the rally is his to win, he drove the final 89km of competitive stages as steady as he could to go into the APRC history books as the youngest outright winner of an APRC round.

Today’s loop of 7 stages took the competitors through 89Km of competitive stages around Kota Tinggi and the final pass at the Angsana Super Special. Apart from Micheal Young whom ran away with the outright APRC win, there are 3 other survivors whom are registered in the Asia Cup category. Japanese Shuhei Muta of Cusco Racing, Thailands Chaiyan Longton Suzuki Swift and the EVO X of Japanese Tomohide Hasegawa whom admitted this year’s Rally is the toughest they have ever encountered.  Shuhei Muta’s rally nearly ended yesterday when he bent a lower arm at the Angsana Super Special. He inherited the Asia Cup lead today when his Cusco Racing teammate Yuya Sumiyama retired with engine failure. He held on to the lead and scored maximum point in the Asia Cup. The Malaysia Rally Championship also suffered its most number of retirements. Half of its 28 competitors were side lined due to mechanical and crashes over the two days of rallying.

China’s Fan Fan won the rally in his CRC spec Lancer, followed by Daniel Palau’s Subaru Impreza and a suprising 3rd place finish for Karamjit Singh in his near standard R3 Proton Satria Neo. His unforgiving driving style was spectacular to watch as he used every ounce of the Neo’s power to blast through the stages. The Malaysian round of the APRC was organized with faultless precision and ran like clockwork. Though it will be remember as the toughest rally in this year’s championship, this is what makes rallying one of the most interesting form of Motorsport.


The dominance of the MRF Skoda team ended as the leg 1 of the Malaysian round of the APRC ended Saturday evening. After enjoying victories in the last three rounds of the Championship, The two Skoda S2000 fell victims to the punishing Malaysian terrain. First to go was Gaurav Gill in SS4, he hit a stump and was stuck. Esapekka Lappi whom admitted that this would be a tough rally for him got to a tough start when he made a lot of mistakes on SS2 and trailed Gaurav Gill by a minute.

However his rally ended midway in SS5 when his engine seized. Sanjey Takle’s rally also ended in SS5 when his Subaru Impreza grasped its last breath of air. With the demise of the MRF Skoda’s, it leave the Cusco’s team to decide the outcome of the rally. However their hopes of seeing all their 4 cars finish the rally when Horishi Asakura’s Proton Satria was sidelined on SS5.

Leg 1 took the APRC competitors 2 loops to Kota Tinggi which covered 139km of competitive stages. The mild weather remained humid affected the teams as the distance back and forth to the service park was quite taxing for everyone. With 4 cars sideline, only 5 cars ended leg 1 with Cusco’s Yuya Sumiya Subaru Impreza leading the rally by a minute and 30 seconds over his teammate Tomohida Hasegawa in a similar Subaru Impreza. Lying a surprising 3 rd is Thailands Chaiyan Longton in a Suzuki Swift, Michael Young and Tomohide Hasgawa rounded the remaining 5 survivors.

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