The 27th Asia Cross Country Rally, the toughest rally in Asia, is back with a 1700+ km track, starting from Thailand to the finish line in Cambodia this November 21-26.

Leg 5

Final SS in Cambodia passes through Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat
Team Mitsubishi RALLIART takes overall victory at its first attempt

On the final day of the rally, Leg 5 took place in Siem Reap, well-known for the Angkor Wat. The final SS6 was short at approximately 48 km, and it was expected to be difficult to change rankings here. Therefore, expectations were high for Team Mitsubishi RALLIART's Chayapon Yotha (Thailand), who had maintained the overall lead and headed into the final SS with a lead of more than 8 minutes over his rivals.
The final SS6 was more demanding compared to the previous five stages. It consisted of rough dirt roads with large holes and deep ruts, muddy roads that are difficult to escape from if stuck - some teams were unable to escape and failed to finish within the 2-hour time limit - and bush roads so narrow that only a single person can wade through, making the course quite challenging despite its distance. The key to success was the co-driver's precise navigation, driver's concentration and accurate driving, and rally car’s road handling ability.

With his precise and consistent driving, Chayapon in car #105 TRITON took the overall lead on the second day of the competition, a position he held until the final day. In SS6, the final race for the overall victory, he drove calmly while prioritizing not to make a course mistake or damage the car, and set the official time of 44 min 12 sec, finishing SS6 in 5th place. With a total time of 8:22:42, he took overall victory in the Asia Cross Country Rally 2022 at his first attempt.

"Today I will support Chayapon thoroughly," said Rifat Sungkar (Indonesia) in car #118 before starting the final SS. With the precise navigation of the co-driver on the bush road where the course was nowhere to be seen, he drove steadily and finished SS6 in 7th place with an official time of 48 min 8 sec, and concluded the rally with a total time of 8:39:56. This was the first cross country rally for Rifat, who mainly participates in sprint rallies, but despite his lack of experience, he was among the fastest in each stage and overcame an accident in Leg 1 to finish in 5th place overall.

Chayapon Yotha, overall champion, commented:
"It was a very tough battle over the six days, but I am very happy to take the overall victory. In order to win among rivals with larger engine displacements, I concentrated on reducing mistakes thoroughly and completing each corner and stage carefully. We were able to achieve good results in this rally because of the excellent handling performance of the TRITON. It was very easy to control, allowing me to follow the line as I intended in any road surface conditions - tarmac, gravel or mud."

Rifat Sungkar, 5th place overall, commented:
"I enjoyed participating in a cross country rally for the first time, and I am relieved that I was able to finish all the stages safely. This experience has allowed me to find issues that I need to work on, both in terms of my skills and the rally car. Once again, I felt that TRITON is a truly tough, durable, and reliable car. It is amazing that we were able to fight through the rally with an almost production car."

Hiroshi Masuoka, team director of Team Mitsubishi RALLIART, commented:
"This was our first attempt to return to the motorsports scene under the name of RALLIART, and it was a very important rally for Mitsubishi Motors. I thought that it would be good enough for us to finish in upper rankings, but I am very happy that the team have taken an overall victory. The mechanics and engineers brought the TRITON to the course in perfect condition every day, and the drivers and co-drivers brought out the best performance from the TRITON. This victory was the result of teamwork and know-how that Mitsubishi Motors has accumulated over the years. Team Mitsubishi RALLIART will consider the possibility of coming back again next year and will fully prepare our team structure and the rally cars. We would like to thank all of our fans and sponsors for their great support."