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Asia-Pacific Rally Championship

Asia-Pacific Rally Championship
Category Group N
S2000
Country Asia
Oceania
Inaugural season 1988
Drivers' champion Jan Kopecký
Teams' champion Team MRF Škoda
Makes' champion Škoda
Official website fiaaprc.com
Current season

The Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) is an international rally championship organized by the FIA encompassing rounds in Asia and Oceania. Group N cars dominated the championship for many years but in recent years cars built to S2000 regulations have tended to be the frontrunners.

The championship was first held in 1988, created out of the successful expansion of the World Rally Championship into Asia and linking with the debut of Rally Australia and won by Japan's Kenjiro Shinozuka in a Mitsubishi Galant VR-4. Initially the championship had strong support from World Rally Championship teams, aided by more than half the calendar being WRC rallies and by Japanese manufacturers backing half of the front runners with Mazda, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Subaru all running front running teams. Toyota's double World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz won the championship in 1990, Juha Kankkunen, Didier Auriol, Colin McRae, Tommi Makinen, Richard Burns, Richard Burns and Ari Vatanen all won rallies. Several teams used the championship as a junior development squad. By the late 1990s, the big teams were dropping away from the championship, or were running drivers of from the region. The 2000 Rally New Zealand was the last joint WRC/APRC event and the WRC teams and manufacturers left and regional teams, like Subaru's New Zealand based team and regional manufacturers like Proton were sharing the wins with privately run teams. The shift to Group N and away from WRC regulations assisted as only Subaru and Mitsubishi had eligible cars for Group N. By the mid-2000s the teams were all privateers. The growth of Super 2000 regulations saw manufacturer teams return led by Proton.

The championship has also been a proving ground for regional talent, even when World Rally teams were competing regional drivers from Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Malaysian driver Karamjit Singh brought the first victory for a driver from one of the emerging APRC nations with Jean-Louis Leyraud from the French pacific island of New Caledonia and India's Gaurav Gill followed. The occasional European driver has moved into the region to find a cheaper series to compete in instead of the expensive European Rally Championship, like Jussi Valimaki.

Reflecting its roots as a subsidiary of the World Rally Championship it had class championships within the main championship for Group N cars and naturally aspirated Two Litre cars. In ore modern times the sub-classes have been split geographically rather than technically, allowing competitors to compete for smaller portions of the series to bolster flagging entry numbers. The championships created were the Asia Cup, taking in Asian continent events in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and China with Thailand joining in 2003. The Pacific Cup takes in Oceania events in Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.

By taking victory at the 2009 Indonesian Rally, Australian Cody Crocker became the most successful driver in APRC history, winning his fourth consecutive title, all in Subarus. A trio of drivers have won three APRC titles; New Zealander Possum Bourne, Kenneth Eriksson of Sweden, and Malaysia's Karamjit Singh.

The championship presently has events in New Zealand, New Caledonia, Australia, Malaysia, Japan, China and Thailand. In the past the championship has run events in India and Indonesia.

List of events

Sourced from:[1][2]

APRC Champions

[3]
Season Champion Car
1988 Kenjiro Shinozuka Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
1989 Rod Millen Mazda 323 4WD
1990 Carlos Sainz Toyota Celica GT-Four ST165
1991 Ross Dunkerton Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
1992 Ross Dunkerton Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
1993 Possum Bourne Subaru Legacy RS
1994 Possum Bourne Subaru Impreza 555
1995 Kenneth Eriksson Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III
1996 Kenneth Eriksson Subaru Impreza 555
1997 Kenneth Eriksson Subaru Impreza WRC
1998 Yoshio Fujimoto Toyota Corolla WRC
1999 Katsuhiko Taguchi Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI
2000 Possum Bourne Subaru Impreza WRX
2001 Karamjit Singh Proton Pert
2002 Karamjit Singh Proton Pert
2003 Armin Kremer Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII
2004 Karamjit Singh Proton Pert
2005 Jussi Välimäki Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII
2006 Cody Crocker Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2007 Cody Crocker Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2008 Cody Crocker Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2009 Cody Crocker Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2010 Katsuhiko Taguchi Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
2011 Alister McRae Proton Satria Neo S2000
2012 Chris Atkinson Škoda Fabia S2000
2013 Gaurav Gill Škoda Fabia S2000
2014 Jan Kopecký Škoda Fabia S2000

Asia Cup

Season Champion Car
2008 Cody Crocker Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2009 Cody Crocker Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2010 Yuya Sumiyama Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
2011 Alister McRae Proton Satria Neo S2000
2012 Yuya Sumiyama Subaru Impreza WRX STi
2013 Michael Young Toyota Vitz
2014 Yuya Sumiyama Subaru Impreza WRX STi

Pacific Cup

Season Champion Car
2008 Dean Herridge Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2009 Hayden Paddon Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2010 Brendan Reeves
2011 Chris Atkinson Proton Satria Neo S2000
2012 Chris Atkinson Škoda Fabia S2000
2013 Simon Knowles Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
2014 Jan Kopecký Škoda Fabia S2000

Group N

Season Champion Car
1996 Yoshihiro Kataoka Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III
1997 Karamjit Singh Proton Wira
1998 Michael Guest Subaru Impreza WRX
1999 Katsuhiko Taguchi Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI
2000 Karamjit Singh Proton Pert
2001 Karamjit Singh Proton Pert
2002 Nico Caldarola Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII
2003 Armin Kremer Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII

2 Litre

Season Champion Car
1996 Nobuhiro Tajima Suzuki Baleno
Suzuki Swift
1997 Nobuhiro Tajima Suzuki Baleno
1998 Nobuhiro Tajima Suzuki Baleno
1999 Kenneth Eriksson
Alister McRae
Hyundai Coupe
Hyundai Coupe
2000 Simon Evans Volkswagen Golf
2001 Nobuhiro Tajima Suzuki Ignis
2002 Nobuhiro Tajima Suzuki Ignis

Manufacturers

Season Manufacturer
1996 Mitsubishi
1997 Subaru
1998 Toyota
1999 Mitsubishi
2000 Subaru
2001 Mitsubishi
2002 Proton
2003 Mitsubishi
2004 Proton
2005 Mitsubishi
2006 Subaru
2007 Subaru
2008 Subaru
2009 Subaru
2010 Mitsubishi
2011 Proton
2012 Škoda
2013 Škoda
2014 Škoda

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]

External links

  • Official website
  • APRC Live Podcast
  • APRC News and Video
  • FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship
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