Dean Herridge has moved to the top of the APRC drivers table with a well-calculated drive at Rally of Canberra.
The second round of the APRC 2008 was also Dean’s home round, and it’s an event he last won in 2004. With the Pacific Cup at the front of his mind, Dean allowed 2007-champ Cody Crocker and MRF driver Scott Pedder to fight for the lead on day one, after Dean’s main rival for the Pacific Cup, Japanese driver Katsu Taguchi, was forced to retire with electrical problems.
The event took its toll on all the crews, the dusty Canberra forestry roads turning into rutted, rock-strewn tracks. With Taguchi, and then second-placed Scott Pedder, forced to retire, Dean was able to capitalise and brought home his Cusco Subaru for second place behind Crocker, with team-mate Hiroshi Yanagisawa sharing the podium in third place.
“It’s a perfect result for us. With Katsu’s problem on the first day, we’ve now got a lead [in the Pacific Cup] with one round to go. And as fate would have it, leading the championship as well. So, it’s a great start!”
“Two rallies, two podiums and leading the championship. It’s been great.”
“We’re probably lacking a little bit of top-end speed on some of the events. And what I mean by that is that we’ve not quite been able to match the times of Katsu and Cody. But I think we’re getting there and we’re learning with this team, and from what I can see of the [APRC] championship, consistency plays a part as well, and we’ve got that.”
“I always thought that New Caledonia would be our weakest round. I’ve been to New Zealand before and I expect there’ll be, at least, some of the same stages we’ve driven on before and [it’s a place where] we’ve had some success. So the plan will be not do doing anything silly, and keep an eye on both Katsu and Jean-Louis. They’re both within striking range if we have any problems. But it at least it takes the pressure off so that we don’t have to win there, or fight too aggressively.”
The next event of the APRC is Rally Whangarei in June, which is also the final event of the Pacific Cup. The race for the cup is still wide open. Although Dean currently leads on the points table, Taguchi, Jean-Louis Leyraud and Brian Green all have a mathematical chance to claim the inaugural Pacific Cup.
Rally of Canberra Results
APRC Points After Round 2
Check out the gallery section for Rally of Canberra photos.