Briton Alister McRae of the Proton Motorsports Team won his third straight title at the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship “XiaoFu Cup” China Rally Longyou 2012 on Sunday after Team MRF’s Indian driver Gaurav Gill, leading by 12.7 seconds, pulled out of the first stage of the day.
However, Team MRF’s Christopher Atkinson of Australia finished second behind McRae on Sunday, and won his maiden annual APRC drivers’ championship title.
Coming home third on Sunday was Juha Salo, of Proton Motorsports Team.
The final six special stages for 124.48 kilometers were held in Muchen, Maojiapu and Luojia. After Gill withdrew, McRae took over control and kept his advantage to win.
“The team did a fantastic job. The car and the tyres were working well in this rally,” said McRae who also won here in Longyou in 2010 and 2011.
Atkinson eventually finished the Longyou competition at second place, trailing winner McRae by one minute and 46.5 seconds. He said he was very happy with the result.
“We ran very steady to finish the competition. For us, it’s important to finish it,” said Atkinson after the race. “But I regret not getting the first place. In fact, I would really like to win the competition. I’m really happy to come here and get the annual championship.”
Atkinson said he has not yet decided if he would come to Longyou next year.
CUSCO Racing Team’s Yuya Sumiyama of Japan and veteran New Zealander Brian Green of the Brian Green Motorsports Ltd finished fifth and sixth as the 2012 Asia-Pacific Rally Championships came to end in Longyou.
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