Cusco 1st and 2nd,
Rachmat leads MRC


Kota Tinggi - Japanese driver Yuya Sumiyama managed to finish at the top of his field on the first leg of the Johor round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) at the 2018 International Rally of Johor today.

The 42-year-old seasoned APRC campaigner, with his co-driver Takahiro Yasui, powered their Skoda Fabia R5 through all six stages today with a total time of 2:09:57.537 to extend his lead over his Cusco Racing team mate Mike Young from New Zealand. Sumiyama said that today¡¯s outing was good and incident free for him as his car performed well. ¡°This year, the stages in Kota Tinggi¡¯s Tai Tak Plantation were easier than last year due to the dry weather. ¡°I had a difficult driving time last year as the plantation stages were water logged due to rain. Sumiyama said he¡¯s looking forward to tomorrow¡¯s outing which will be the final day for the International Rally of Johor.

Young, who is also a favorite for the Malaysian APRC round, was leading in the first three stages in his Cusco Racing prepared Toyota Vitz before losing time to Sumiyama in the final three stages. Young took second spot with a 3:16.815 gap behind Sumiyama.

Only 2 cars of the 4 car APRC contenders finished leg 1. Both Indian¡¯s Abhilash PG and Malaysia¡¯s Abdul Kaathir Mohamed Mustaffa failed to finish Leg 1 when both cars left the road in spectacular fashion on SS 5. Abdul Kaathir Satria Neo slid of the road sideways and broke a lower arm while Abhilash lost control of his Subaru Impreza after a jump and beach the car in a culvert. Both cars will continue Leg 2.

Malaysian Rally Championship competitors found leg 1 as challenging as ever. There was a healthy spread of competition from the 31 cars. There were mixed fortune for the drivers.

Bad luck struck Dinie Nazmie barely 100 meters after leaving the service park with clutch failure. He drove on to SS1 only to retire from leg 1 with gearbox failure.

MRU¡¯s Mohd Rafiq lost his brake coming into a corner in 5th gear and rolled his Subaru Impreza. He was gutted with his crash but that¡¯s rallying.

By the end of leg one its was Indonesia¡¯s Rachmat whom took top spot with a total time of 2:25:55.339. Followed by an impressive drive by Datuk Mohd Hanif Borhan in second spot 5 minutes behind.

Japanese driver Saturo Ito finished 3rd 58 seconds behind Hanif. Saturo San picked up a 4-minute time penalty for coming out of service, with a 3:01.971 gap difference. Roduwan Rashid and teammate Hj Suhaimi of One Motorsport Bagan Datuk Rally Team (BDRT) rounded up the top 5.

The International Rally Of Johor 2018 will resume at 6:30am Sunday with another 6 stages covering a total of 257km before concluding the event at Angsana Johor Bahru Mall in the afternoon.