Team MRF's Jan Kopecky is 2014 APRC Champion
Reigning European rally champion Jan Kopecky is now unbeatable in the 2014 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, after winning the Hokkaido Rally. His sole remaining challenger and reigning APRC champion, teammate Gaurav Gill, went off the road when leading the rally on stage eight, leaving Kopecky well ahead of the rest of the field. Gill's car was not found to be badly damaged but having to miss stages meant his championship hopes had been dashed.
The MRF team are expected to withdraw his entry on the final round of the series, in China. Second registered APRC competitor to finish was the Chinese driver Jun Xu in another Skoda Fabia, while second overall on the event was the veteran Japanese driver Toshi Arai in a Subaru. In fourth place overall was Yuya Sumiyama in a new Subaru which is expected to be homologated next January. Former WRC driver Fumio Nutahara won the All-Japan category of the event, after an early close fight with Norihiko Katsuta. The event was run out of Obihiro, where the former Japanese round of the WRC was based for five years.
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