ŠKODA privateer Yuya Sumiyama from Japan wins FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship 2018

› At China Rally Longyou Team Cusco driver scores fifth APRC victory in a row
› Navigator Yasui also crowned FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Champion for Co-Drivers
› Seventh manufacturer title for ŠKODA in a row, last four achieved with ŠKODA FABIA R5
› ŠKODA Motorsport boss Michal Hrabánek: “Congratulations to the drivers and Team
Cusco for continuing ŠKODA’s winning streak in the FIA APRC series.”

Longyou, 21 October 2018 – Scoring victories on all five rounds, the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally

Championship (APRC) 2018 has a dominant winner – ŠKODA driver Yuya Sumiyama

together with navigator Takahiro Yasui got maximum points at the last round of the series,

China Rally Longyou (20 – 21 October 2018). Their Team Cusco’s achievements seamless

continue the success, ŠKODA Motorsport factory supported teams celebrated during the

past years in the Asia Pacific region (all results subject to official publication by the FIA).

Celebrating an APRC hat trick from 2012 to 2014 with the normally aspirated ŠKODA FABIA

S2000, the following years the Czech brand added four titles in a row with the turbo-powered

ŠKODA FABIA R5, worldwide the most successful rally car of its category.

With a convincing performance Yuya Sumiyama, driving a Team Cusco entered ŠKODA FABIA R5,

opened up an additional chapter of one of the most successful seasons for ŠKODA Motorsport.

“Congratulations to Yuya Sumiyama, Takahiro Yasui and all at Team Cusco for continuing

ŠKODA’s winning streak in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship,” says ŠKODA Motorsport

boss Michal Hrabánek and adds: “This new success again shows the strength of our customer

program.” Actually Team Cusco in itself is special amongst the ŠKODA customer teams worldwide

– right now its ŠKODA FABIA R5 is the first and only imported ŠKODA to Japan. As a reward Team

Cusco won the FIA Asia-Pacific Championship Teams Award 2018.

Winning the 2018 APRC driver title is Yuya Sumiyama’s biggest success so far. Competing in

rallies since 2002, the now 42 years old is one of the most experienced drivers from Japan. He

already won the APRC-integrated Asia Cup in 2012 and 2014. In 2004 he celebrated his debut in

the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) when he competed at Rally Japan, at that time part of

the WRC calendar. Since 2008 Sumiyama is part of Team Cusco, driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5 for

the first time full season during the 2018 APRC.

Having scored already four victories this season, Yuya Sumiyama started the final round of the FIA

Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), the China Rally Longyou, as the new champion.

Nevertheless, he opened proceedings with the second fastest time in the first special stage. He was

fastest of the APRC competitors ahead of the more powerful rally cars of the national Chinese Rally

Championship’s own categories. But two stages later, the Team Cusco driver had to survive a

heart-stopping moment: “I entered one corner a little bit too fast and hit something with the left rear

side of my car,” Sumiyama confessed. His private entered ŠKODA FABIA R5 proved to be rock

solid. And although the suspension was bent, he managed to return to service, where Team

Cusco’s mechanics fixed the car. The time loss made him drop significantly in the general

classification. But when his opponent for the APRC category win, New Zealand driver Mike Young,

had to retire due to a broken engine, Sumiyama reached the finish line as APRC winner. On the 

podium in Longyou, the ŠKODA FABIA R5 driver, co-driver Takahiro Yasui and the whole Team

Cusco were greeted by a cheering crowd, amongst them Dr. Ralf Hanschen, President ŠKODA


Final standings FIA APRC (after five rounds, one round cancelled)

1. Yuya Sumiyama (JPN), ŠKODA FABIA R5, 193 points

2. Fabio Frisiero (ITA), Peugeot 208 AP4, 79 points

3. Michael Young (NZL), Toyota Vitz AP4, 37 points

Final standings FIA APRC Cup for Manufacturers (after five rounds, one round cancelled)

1. ŠKODA, 193 points

2. Peugeot, 79 points

3. Subaru, 38 points

Number of the day: 7

ŠKODA won the seventh FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship manufacturer title in a row, the last

four were achieved with the ŠKODA FABIA R5.

FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) – ŠKODA’s titles

2018 Sumiyama/Yasui (JPN/JPN) ŠKODA FABIA R5

2017 Gill/Prévot (IND/BEL) ŠKODA FABIA R5

2016 Gill/Macneall (IND/NZL) ŠKODA FABIA R5

2015 Tidemand/Axelsson (SWE/SWE) ŠKODA FABIA R5/ŠKODA FABIA S2000

2014 Kopecký/Dresler (CZE/CZE) ŠKODA FABIA S2000

2013 Gill/Macneall (IND/NZL) ŠKODA FABIA S2000

2012 Atkinson/ Prévot (NZL/BEL) ŠKODA FABIA S2000

Calendar of the 2018 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC)

Event Date

Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand 05/05–06/05/2018

National Capital Rally Australia 02/06–03/06/2018

Malaysian Rally 21/07–22/07/2018

Rally Hokkaido - Japan 15/09–16/09/2018

China Rally 21/07–22/10/2018

Rally of India (cancelled) 01/12–02/12/2018

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