Kiwi rallying duo, Michael Young and Malcolm Read, are set to tackle the difficult Chinese roads in their pursuit for a third 2014 Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) title this weekend at Rally China.
The pair, from Opotiki and Hamilton respectively, have never competed in China before but say they’re looking forward to the challenge and are aiming to win the APRC’s Production Cup at the event based around the city of Longyou.
Young said: “This is our first time here and it’s a long way from home. We’re totally out of our comfort zone but that’s what competing in the APRC is all about and we just love it. There are so many cultural differences here, the food, the language and driving on the right hand side of the road is also quite different. The whole lot is all very new for us but we’re just focusing on winning the Production Cup.
“We’re not here to win the rally but instead finish off the season with a strong finish to get three APRC titles again this year. We only need to finish the rally to secure it but that’s easier said than done with Mark [Pedder] also competing here this weekend.”
Australian rival, Mark Pedder, also wants the Production Cup title and will undoubtedly fight for the honour but Young has built up a healthy points lead over Pedder after scoring points at every round so far this year.
Supported by Cusco Racing, Young and Read have also finished every rally on the calendar this year in their Cusco Racing Proton Satria Neo and add they’re motivated to make it six from six this weekend despite weather forecasts predicting rain, making the event harder than usual.
“The Cusco Racing Proton has been absolutely perfect all year, and so has the team and Malcolm. I’ve been supported by an awesome group of people and that’s why we’ve managed to finish every rally so far. Finishing this one is obviously our big goal and I really want to do it for them,” said Young.
Although Young admits his inexperience on these roads might make it tricky as he says: “All I know about the roads here is what I have seen on television. I believe there is a lot of concrete which can be super slippery if it’s wet so we’ll keep an eye on that and try to soak up the experience as much as possible.”
The event starts at Longyou, 400 kilometres South West of Shanghai, China on Friday morning with a ceremonial start in front of thousands of spectators before heading to a short stage one, near Longyou. Over the next two days the teams compete across 13 special stages covering almost 231 kilometres before finishing on Sunday back in Longyou city at approximately 3.15pm.
To keep up to date with Michael Young and his team during the rally, head to: https://www.facebook.com/MikeYoungMotorsport
Young’s APRC campaign is supported by Cusco, Dunlop, Yoda Rallying, OMP, CRC Speedshow, Club Cadet and Sommet Sports.
Media release by Alana McIsaac (November 2014)