Mon, 13 Jun 1994

Bourne-Sircombe put first in Medan

JAKARTA (JP): Defending champion Possum Bourne of New Zealand was placed on top of the seeding list issued by FIA, the world automotive governing body, for the Medan Rally due to start on Friday in this North Sumatra capital.

Bourne and navigator Roger Freeth, driving under the banner of the 555 team, won last year's rally in convincing style. However, Bourne was tragically parted from his long-time partner when they crashed in a race in Australia, taking the life of Freeth.

FIA, which sanctioned the three-day rally covering a total of 26 Special Stages (SS) and 418.74 kilometers, has drawn Swedish driver Kenneth Ericksson as second seed behind Bourne. Third seed is the Japanese Kenjiro Shinozuka, a regular participant in Indonesian rallies.

Indonesians Ledi Kurnadi from Jakarta and Medan-base driver Andy Jachmoon were also included in the ranking to decide the pole position in the starting line. They were placed the top ten seeds. They were place eighth and ninth respectively.

"We feel great to be included among the seeded drivers," Ledi said in Medan yesterday, as quoted by Antara.

Bourne, out to defend the President's Cup he won last year, will be driving a new Subaru Imprezza in the 555 team with navigator Tony Sircombe.

Bourne's teammate Richard Burns of Britain, also driving a Subaru Imprezza, was placed fourth. Britain's other drivers, Alister McRae and Dominic Barkley, were placed fifth and sixth respectively.

Placed at seventh was Canadian Michel Lieu who will be accompanied by navigator Ichino Hakaru.

Malaysian Karamjit Singh, who will be making his professional debut in Medan, will join the fray in a Proton Saga Iswara 4WD. He was seeded 10th.

Fifty cars have submitted their entry forms to the committee for the rally, the opening leg of the Asia Pacific Rally.

"Everything is set for the starting of the rally which was scheduled to be officially opened by State Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs Hajono Isman and Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunication Joop Ave," committee chairman Bob R.E. Nasution said (rsl).