Experience of the Longyou roads of inland China rewarded Chinese Taipei driver Lin Dewei and co-driver Le Kepeng with the title of 2019 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, powered by Würth champions.
Fastest on four of the 13 stages, the Subaru pairing extended their opening stage lead to 5min 35.2sec when they arrived for the crowning ceremony.
Using roads north and south of host city Longyou, Zhejiang province, Lin commented the ten years’ experience he has of the event: “Longyou Rally is very difficult – the stage conditions are different every year.
“I am happy now – this is very exciting. I am very happy to win this championship for my sponsors and everyone.”
Of the seven teams vying for the overall title, only four finished
Fellow Cusco driver Suguru Kawana and Takahiro Yasui steered their Citroen DS3 into second before being overtaken by New Zealand pairing of Andrew Hawkeswood and Jeff Cress (main picture) in the Mazda 2, during the closing stages.
Dry dusty conditions during Friday’s opening Super Special Stage gave way to damp sections of gravel and concrete on the Saturday with persistent rain on the Sunday adding sections of mud to the competition.
Finishing fifth overall, behind the non-championship contender Zhang Guoyu, Mike Young gained enough points over Suguru Kawana to claim the Asia Cup.
Round 8 Results – China Rally-Longyou
Pos, No., Driver / Co-driver, Region, Car, Time
1, 7, Lin Dewei / Le Keping, Subaru XV, TPE/CHN, 3hr12min 11.1sec
2, 5, Andrew Hawkeswood / Jeff Cress, Mazda 2, NZL/NZL, +5min 35.2sec
3, 2, Suguru Kawana / Takahiro Yasui, Citroen DS3, JPN/JPN, +7min 06.9sec
4, 9, Zhang Guoyu / Li Jiarun, Subaru XV, CHN/CHN, +16min 43.4sec
5, 1, Mike Young / Malcolm Read, Toyota C-HR, NZL/NZL +3hr57min 28.3sec
2019 APRC standings:
1. Lin Dewei / Le Keping, TPE/CHN – 38 points
2. Andrew Hawkeswood / Jeff Cress, NZL/NZL – 28 points
3. Suguru Kawana / Takahiro Yasui, JPN/JPN – 25 points
4. Mike Young / Malcolm Read, NZL/NZL – 21 points
5. Nao Otake/Noriko Takeshita, JPN/JPN – 4 points
6. Yuki Kohama/Megumi Fujita, JPN/JPN – 1 point