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AXCR 2023: Team MITSUBISHI RALLIART's Chayapon Yotha performs well to take 2nd in SS2 and moves up to 4th overall after LEG 2

AXCR 2023: Team MITSUBISHI RALLIART's Chayapon Yotha performs well to take 2nd in SS2 and moves up to 4th overall after LEG 2

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LEG 2, the second day of competition in the 2023 Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) took place on Tuesday 15 August. Team MITSUBISHI RALLIART saw last year's winners, Chayapon Yotha (Thailand) and Peerapong Sombutwong (Thailand) in a TRITON in #101, continue their good performance from the previous day. Yotha completed the SS in 3hr 17min 16sec (provisional) to take 2nd place, which promoted him to 4th overall. He will be aiming to further move up the field from tomorrow onwards.

The day's competition took place on the 207.26 km Selective Section (SS) 2. After the Passage Control (PC) at 111.77km, there was a service area, as on the previous day. The routes varied in character from farmland and village roads to rough gravel roads. The three TRITONs were all aiming to improve their positions with precise handling and engines that are torqueful throughout the range.

According to the start list based on the previous day's provisional classification, Yotha started 6th, Katsuhiko Taguchi (Japan) / Takahiro Yasui (Japan) 8th, and Rifat Sungkar (Indonesia) / Chupong Chaiwan (Thailand) 32nd. The rally was run under dry conditions as on the previous day, with the first runners in the AUTO class (four-wheel category) starting SS2 at 10:24am. Yotha continued to drive steadily, but Taguchi was plagued by deviations from the route and lost time, taking 3hr 44min 58sec (provisional). He finished the SS in 14th and is now 9th overall.

Incidentally, the provisional results announced on the evening of the 15th granted the participants new SS times for LEG1. At Team MITSUBISHI RALLIART, Yotha was granted 2hr 7min 52sec and Katsuhiko Taguchi (Japan) and Takahiro Yasui (Japan) in Car 112 1hr 56min 16sec. Meanwhile, Rifat Sungkar (Indonesia) and Chupong Chaiwan (Thailand) in Car 106 was given an 8hr for failing to pass a designated point on the previous day.

The third day of competition, LEG3/SS3, on Wednesday the 16th, will be the last SS in Thailand. A wide variety of roads await, including areas of sugar cane fields and rubber plantations, as well as small roads connecting villages to each other. The SS has a distance of 179.63km and will start at 9.00am, with the first starter in the MOTO class (motorcycles).

Comments from Chayapon Yotha, driver of Car 101: "Today has been mostly a good day. The road surfaces were fast and there were rocky conditions in some sections. In the high-speed sections, I pushed to pick up pace and tried to drive the fastest. I tried to protect the car and avoid sustaining damage in the rocky sections. Of course, tomorrow I'll look to achieve better results than I did today. In a nutshell, I'll aim to come out on top tomorrow."

Comments from Team MITSUBISHI RALLIART team director Hiroshi Masuoka: " At the end of the second day, Chayapon (Yotha) and Taguchi have been doing well. Chayapon is in a good position in 4th overall. Unfortunately, Taguchi lost time in some areas due to course deviations, but in any case, the car is in good shape and we want him to improve his pace from now on. We'll go into the middle stage of the rally tomorrow. There is a possibility that the road surface conditions will worsen, but our TRITONs have the ability to drive reliably on any surface, so I think our positions will gradually improve."


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