Crocker takes rally title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crocker takes rally title

16/11/2003 07:30:01 PM Comments (0)

Privateer Juha Kangas upstaged the big boys to claim the Safari Tasmania but all eyes were on Subaru driver Cody Crocker after he walked away with an emotional Australian Rally Championship title.

Mitsubishi driver Kangas of Finland turned around his bad luck in heat one on Saturday to claim heat two and his first outright round victory of the national championship at the 2003 season finale outside Hobart.

Kangas overcame Saturday's hiccup - when he missed a gear and let Crocker snatch heat one honours - by clocking 1hr:05min:56.2sec in heat two in his Lancer, easily faster than nearest rival Spencer Lowndes (1:06:35.9) also of Mitsubishi.

However, the spotlight remained on Crocker who finished third overall in the Safari Tasmania after clinching the national championship with heat one spoils 24 hours earlier.

Crocker finished seventh in heat two with co-driver Greg Foletta after two punctures but had already done enough to win the 2003 title in a fitting tribute to former co-driver Possum Bourne.

Crocker became the first to have his name inscribed on the newly named Possum Bourne Memorial Trophy for the Australian rally champion.

Bourne - Crocker's mentor and team leader - won the last seven national titles before he was tragically killed in an accident in April.

"To win our first outright championship is just outstanding," Crocker said.

"I'm glad we did the job yesterday, because it's been a lot harder in the forest today and Juha has been on a mission to win.

"Winning the championship is an awesome feeling. We still have mixed feelings about winning, there's a lot of elation but also a bit of sadness.

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