Asia Cup status – who’s leading the race?

2019-09-12

This year, APRC received large renovation and there is no longer race for the championship throughout the season – winner of the APRC final in Longyou (China) will be the APRC champion for 2019. However, Asia Cup is still competed in the same manner as last year, and Rally Hokkaido is 3rd round out of 4 Asia Cup rallies.
So far, there is no one competed both of the past 2 rounds (Montre/Japan and Medan/Indonesia), thus the Asia Cup point standings has many drivers/co-drivers packed in small gaps. However, there are more than several drivers who competed Montre and will be starting Rally Hokkaido next Friday, so the point standings will look more interesting after Rally Hokkaido. Let’s see who is rallying it.

Neither of the point leaders, Kawana and Variza (38 points), is not competing, but Masumura (29 points) is. Djan also has 29 points but he is not coming to Japan, either. So it seems Masumura has some advantage in the point race. However, the gap between him and Young is only 3 points and he is obviously big threat. Even though Kohama is driving RWD Toyota GT86, he is only 5 points behind Young. When you consider the fact that anything can happen with Rally Hokkaido, with its very demanding stages for both the cars and the drivers, those is not a thing like “safe margin”. Tough stages of Montre gave Aoki and Otake very hard time, but the same thing might happen to any of them, while those two drivers must be well prepared after the bitter experience.
Basically the same thing can be said to co-drivers’ point standings (Takehara, Fujita, Ikeda and Takeshita), but the absence of Malcom Read may make it more complicated. Due to his series participation of Australian Rally championship, he is not able to join Young for Rally Hokkaido and Glenn Macneall will occupy Young’s co-driver seat. As many of you know, Macneall completed Rally Hokkaido many times as a co-driver for Gaurav Gill, and surely knows the rally and the roads. But considering the fact that Read (26 points) is not earning any points next weekend, it is more difficult to forecast the outcome after the Rally Hokkaido.
Well, it seems we just have to wait and see how the rally develops…

FIA APRC Point Standings


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