Thailand’s four-wheel specialists Natthaphon Angrithanon and his co-driver Peerapong Sombutwong drove their Isuzu D-Max to victory in the 2,400km Pattaya to Siem Reap Asia Cross Country Rally, which ended in the World Heritage city at the weekend.
Familiarity with the tough circuit and their vast rallying experience stood the Thai pair in good stead as they went through nine special sections in the elite T1D class, stretching across Thailand and Cambodia over six days.
Japan’s Tadamitsu Niihori and navigator Chupong Chaiwan in a Toyota Hilux finished second, ahead of Thailand’s Wongwirot Palawat and Thanyaphat Meenil in an Isuzu D-Max in the T2D section.
Cambodia’s Phal Sopheng and Kim Houth Vong, driving a Toyota Tacoma in the T1G class, rolled in 17th out of the 20 contestants.
After the Pattaya-Chanthaburi sector in Thailand, the rally passed through Koh Kong, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh and Kampong Thom before crossing the finish in front of Angkor Wat.
In the motorbike category, Thailand’s Jakkrit Chawtale on a Yamaha WR450F emerged as the winner from the field of 45 riders, beating Sweden’s Dan-Olov Olle Ohlsson riding a Husqvarna FE501.
Yoshio Ikemachi of Japan on a Yamaha WR450F was third.Cambodia’s Koun Phandara on a KTM EXCF 450 got home in seventh spot, three places above his compatriot Daravuth Chan on a Suzuki RMXS450.