APRC round of Rally Hokkaido, the fifth round in the championship was all too dramatic, with the top teams completely out of the podium chase as all the cars battling out lost early on final day stages. It was Proton Motorsport‘s ace driver McRae who retired first with heating engine issues of his Satria S2000, then his team-mate the new recruit Juha Salo who retired from his 3rd overall place, he had thought that he was the leader when he saw Gill retired. But he too retired after he hit a culvert and ripped off a wheel from his Proton Satria S2000.
But it was the shocker from the lone car from Team MRF who was leading the rally, driven by Indian driver Gaurav Gill who too retired after 3 morning stages when the clutch of his Skoda Fabia S2000 broke at the start line of SS15.
Dramatically the win was handed over to Japanese Yuya Sumiyama with the trophy, while the New CaledonianDaniel Palau took second place, but the third was taken by ex-PWRC Champion Karamjit Singh in a Proton Satria R2, a FWD car!
In the IRC scenario, out of the 36 cars only 14 cars made it to the finish with 22 retirements in the entire rally. Yagiz Avci of Turkey won the event with a comfortable 3minutes lead of the closest rival.
WRC: In what it took nearly a 8 rallies gap for the blue oval to finally clinch the top podium position, finally yielded at Wales for JM Latvala donning the top and Petter Solberg with the final position, Loeb being the filler in between at second.
In the powerstage, Mikko Hirvonen claimed the maximum while Sebastien Loeb took 2 and Latvala the last one additional points to his championship points kitty bag.
The final frontier – Wales Rally GB
Here is what Citroen had to say about the Ford threw at them this weekend at Wales.