Team MRF Tyres Skoda driver and European Rally Champion Jan Kopecky stormed into a comfortable lead in Round 2 of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in New Caledonia. Defending champion Gaurav Gill suffered a suspension failure which cost him any chance of fighting for the lead.
Czech driver Jan Kopecky and co driver Pravel Dresler have a lead of 5min20 sec over team mate Gill after Day 1 of Rally New Caledonia. Gill pulled out a 52 second lead until SS7 where he dropped 1min 40sec then a further 3min 40sec on the final stage of the day with suspension failure. Despite dropping so much time Gill holds onto second place for the MRF Rally Team with a 10 minute buffer over third place Sanjay Takale. Gill managed to get his car to the service tent with the mechanics confident of getting the car ready for tomorrow.
Overnight rain and further showers today made the 2 shorter inland stages very muddy and in many places almost impossible to drive. This created a day of attrition with 6 of the starters failing to finish the day. Both Australian APRC competitors Mark Pedder and Tom Wilde ended up off the road. The conditions became very tough forcing the organisers to cancel SS5 & SS8.