Up and coming Aussie rider Josh Hook took race two victory at the final round of the Asia Dream Cup over the weekend, at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. His finishing position of third overall gave him the opportunity to test for a 2013 MotoGP Moto3 wild card ticket. Hook went into the weekend confident on the back of wins in the two rounds prior and started the evening race in P2. Race 1 saw a difficult tussle for the top positions but race 2 presented Hook’s moment to shine. Taking the lead in the second half of the race, Josh Hook finished first, 0.214 seconds ahead of the competition. Speaking after the race, Josh was pleased with his final performance; “I had a few little problems early on but sorted that out and got a good feeling with the bike and new track under new conditions, it was a great experience riding under lights.” Josh went on to say, “What a great way to end the year! A big shout out to Honda Australia for all their support, couldn’t do it without you guys, thanks a lot.” The inaugural Asia Dream Cup has been a learning experience for the contingent of pioneer riders who all competed on Honda CBR250Rs. Josh Hook found his rhythm by round 4 when he took his first win, Hook then collected valuable points and two more wins to finish on a total of 158 securing him third overall. A day after the finale, the top eight Asia Dream Cup riders hit the tarmac again for what could be the biggest break in their racing careers to date; the opportunity to try out for a 2013 MotoGP Moto3 wild card ticket. Results still to be announced. Fellow Australian Josh Pickering who experienced his first venture into road racing, has ridden consistently throughout the Asia Dream Cup ending in 10th position overall.
The all-new and next-generation Mitsubishi Outlander has arrived in Australia for sale and is now available at dealerships across the country. The sales have been successful across the world with Mitsubishi in Japan, Europe and Russia selling more than 10,000 since launch. MMAL CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri welcomed the all-new Outlander to the Mitsubishi Motors Australian range. “The next-generation Outlander offers outstanding value and versatility combined with a refined design and premium features,” Oshikiri said. “Since the next-generation Outlander was unveiled at the Australian International Motorshow in October we have experienced strong interest in the new Outlander range and anticipate it will be popular with customers.” The next-generation Outlander will be sold in three variants on the Australian market. The entry-level ES, the mid-range LS and the luxury Aspire with pricing starting from $28,990 for the Outlander ES.
North America will see the new generation Subaru Forester for the first time in LA, when it goes on show at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show this week. Only weeks after the world premierein Japan, November 13, Americans will get the chance to view most significant changed Forester since 1997. The All-Wheel Drive fourth generation Forester offers an even higher level of drivability as well as enhanced safety and environmental performance, combined with improved Sports Utility Vehicle capabilities. Also on display in LA will be Subaru technical exhibits, including the new Forester cutaway body, revealing the car’s structure. A technology touchscreen will demonstrate Forester’s innovation. Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, the President and CEO of Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru vehicles, will address media at the show on the afternoon of November 28. LA Auto Show is open to the public from November 30-December 9 and the Australian launch will happen in quarter one 2013.
The final round of the Australian Rally Championship took place in Victoria over the weekend and it was four-time national rally champions Neal Bates and Coral Taylor who sealed victory in the 2012 Australian Classic Rally Challenge series. The duo finished second at the season-closing Rally Victoria, which earned them sufficient points to clinch victory in both the drivers’ and co-drivers’ titles. The Australian Classic Rally Challenge runs as part of the Australian Rally Championship for pre-1986 rally cars. Bates and Taylor won three rallies during the season in their 1980 Toyota Celica RA40, which was hand-built from a bare shell over 18 months and features an authentic World Rally Championship period livery. Bates said he enjoyed competing in the classic section of the ARC. “Coral and I have loved every minute of it,” he said. “The car was absolutely brilliant all year − it’s so much fun to drive, makes a great noise and is sideways a lot, which is pretty spectacular for everyone watching.” Bates and Taylor won the first heat in Victoria before a minor gearshift issue cost them time during the second stage of heat two. They corrected the problem and re-joined the action to finish behind overall event winners Grant Walker and Craig Thomas. “We’ve had the best time this year,” Taylor said. “The main thing for me has been showing off the car to the crowds, who have loved looking at and watching it all season. “It’s been a real pleasure.” Bates and Taylor will announce their motorsport plans for 2013 in the coming months.
Anticipation is high for Honda’s expo stand at the Australian Motorcycle Expo in Melbourne on November 23-25, 2012 and for good reason. Honda will be revealing the all-new, learner approved CBR500R and CB500F along with the 2013 CBR600RR and three Special Edition CBR250Rs, a Repsol, Moriwaki and Mugen Edition. Two parts of Honda’s new 500cc trio, the sporty CBR500R and naked CB500F will be joined by the adventurous CB500X in 2013 offering the perfect bridge between the 250cc and the 600cc machines. While sharing their core features the new trio offer three very different riding experiences along with excellent handling, advanced environmental performance, innovative designs and complete convenience. Honda’s Supersports jewel, the CBR600RR has been upgraded with MotoGP-style bodywork and aerodynamics marking ten years since its initial release. Only just announced globally, the 2013 CBR600RR will also make its public debut at the Motorcycle Expo. While the developers aimed for improved racetrack performance, the new CBR600RR boasts new forks, revised rear shock, remapped fuel injection and more and will be thoroughly enjoyed on the road or racetrack. To add even more sizzle to an already exciting line-up, Honda will be revealing Australia’s popular CBR250R sporting Special Edition Moriwaki, Mugen and Repsol livery. These three iconic brands have a history so entrenched in Honda’s history that these Special Edition entry level sports machines are bound to be popular. Joining these never before seen models will be a full representation of Honda’s extensive motorcycle range including a contingent of Championship winning CRFs, including motocross legend Chad Reed’s CRF450R, Ford Dale’s MX2 winning CRF250R and Jacob Smith’s Australasian Safari winning CRF450X. The display will also showcase Honda’s race inspired CBRs, commuter Scooters and hardworking ATVs along with Cruisers, Adventure Tourers, Funbikes and more.