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Monday July 9, 2012

Malaysian leg of APRC to be held under floodlights for first time

JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian leg of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) will be held under floodlights for the first time here from July 13-15.

A specially designed 2.5km-long dirt track in the vicinity of the Plaza Angsana will form part of the special stage of the rally to be held at night.

The organisers have termed the event as “Midnight Rallying” and all 16 entries for the fourth leg have been assured that all safety measures and adequate lightings are in place.

Johor Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Hoo Seong Chang said that this is a new aspect to the rally championships which should serve to attract a bigger crowd.

He said this after launching the fourth leg of the the APRC championship.

“Johor Baru have hosted the Malaysian leg of the APRC for eight years running but this is the first time we are introducing night rallying to bring the fans closer to the action.

“The special stage race will allow spectators to get closer to the action. By having it in the evening means more people will find the time to come and watch it,” he said.

APRC co-ordinator Murray Brown gave the thumbs up for the night race. “As long as the safety aspects are in place, which I am sure the organisers would be able to comply with, rallying at night is all right.

“It has been done elsewhere before.

“In fact, the infrastructure for the Malaysian leg of the APRC has always been good,” he added.

A total of 16 entries have been confirmed for the APRC with the current leader Chris Atkinson of Australia in a Skoda S2000 leading the entry list.

Malaysia’s Proton, with Alister McRae behind the wheels of his Proton Satria Neo 2000 and who is lying fifth overall after three rounds of the championship, have also confirmed their entry.

So has Karamjit Singh, the country’s No. 1 rally driver who will racing for the Proton R3 Cusco team.

The Malaysian Rally Cham­pionship, now into its third round, will be held simultaneously and will see a total of 20 entries with China’s leading rally driver Fan Fan, heading the list.

Fan Fan, in a latest edition Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, is also the defending champion in the Malaysian leg of the APRC but he has chosen to skip the event to concentrate on the Malaysian Rally Championship where there are two more rounds – to be held in Negri Sembilan and Malacca – to go after Johor Baru.

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