Dean Herridge, Chris Murphy and the Subaru Rally Team China WRX Sti are on track for another strong finish at Rally China in Longyou. The winner of last years event, Dean sits third overall and second in CRC after ten tough and rough stages on day one. APRC champ Cody Crocker again leads the way, while CRC series leader David Higgins is second.
“We struggled this afternoon”, Dean commented after a long day of competition. “It rained during the week, but it’s been dry today. As the roads dried out, it got rougher and very difficult. The three stages we used today are pretty narrow twisty stages. They were slippery this morning, but as the fields has passed over them each time, there have been lots of rocks exposed or pulled onto the roads”.
“We really struggled on that last loop; our tyres just didn’t seem to work well. But we’ve had a pretty good day overall”.
Like 2008, Rally China has taken a heavy toll on the entire field, with Katsu Taguchi (who was involved in a great battle with Dean all day), Hiroshi Yanagisawa, Gaurav Gill and Brian Green all retired from the APRC field. While CRC entrants Juha Salo, Jari Ketomaa, Tony Green and Jussi Valimaki all ran into problems.
“We’ve got two really tough stages to run three times tomorrow. But we’re in a good position, it’s the biggest rally event in China, my team mate Li Wei leads the Chinese drivers, and the team are happy with our performance”.
Rally China concludes tomorrow with two tough stages run three times each, including the famous San Menyuan mountain stage.
Rally China 2009, Leg 1 Results (Unofficial)
1 C.Crocker 2:04:40.7
2 D.Higgins +1:25.0
3 D.Herridge +2:05.2
4 A.McRae +3:01.3
5 E.Gilmour +5:12.4
6 J.Ketomaa +5:15.6
7 R.Sungkar +7:28.2
8 Li Wei +8:53.8
9 Wei Hongjie +9:28.1
10 J.Valimaki +10:51.5