PROTON WINS APRC DRIVER’S TITLE
In an unexpected turn of events, the winner of Rally Hokkaido was disqualified for a technical infringement which has in turn handed PROTON the driver’s title for the 2011 Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).
With the amended results of Rally Hokkaido, Alister McRae currently leads the APRC driver’s category with a seven point advantage over Chris Atkinson, with the championship to be decided between the two PROTON team mates when the final round of the 2011 season moves to Rally China in November.
Winning the recently-concluded Rally Hokkaido, Indian driver Gaurav Gill had set the stage for a three-way fight for the APRC crown between him and PROTON’s McRae and Atkinson. Gill, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X had won the rally ahead of Japanese team mate and reigning APRC champion Katsuhiko Taguchi, with McRae in third place.
Upon inspection later in the day however, stewards from the International Automobile Federation (FIA), disqualified Gill for a technical infringement on his vehicle. This promoted Taguchi to rally winner and McRae to second place, and with not enough points to contest for in China, eliminated Gill’s shot at the driver’s title.