For the second year running Thomas Dermody blitzed the non-pace note field in the Singleton Automotive Centre Caves Classic run on 8 April.  Showing blistering pace, Tom’s Escort, co-driven by Eoin Moynihan, had the early lead on Adrian Coppin/Erin Kelly who were running on notes in the Evo 9.  Dermody kept up his consistently fast stage times to finish the event in an amazing 2nd outright behind to the eventual winner Coppin and ahead of 7 other 4WDs.

Run under clear skies and perfect weather at Hampton, the Caves Classic was the Round 1 of the TechWorkz Development Rally Series and Hyundai Rally Series and Round 1 of the TechWorkz ACT Regional Rally Series.  The event offered a pace note option for crews not contesting any of the above series.

A field of 41 cars was waved off from Rally HQ for total of 118km of competition over 8 stages in the Hampton and Jenolan State Forests, with three service points at the central service park.

Rally Director John Sparkes, from Sydney’s North Shore Sporting Car Club, was pleased with the way the event panned out.  “We were very lucky to have a week of fine weather leading up to the event’” he said.

“Feedback from the competitors was that they enjoyed the event and I’m pleased to say there were no major crashes, most of the DNFs resulting from mechanical failures or minor offs.”

Rob Inall, proprietor of Singleton Ford and Singleton Nissan as the event’s naming rights partner, was one of the unlucky ones, shearing off a clutch fork pivot early in the event, after a herculean effort to get his car ready for competition.

The eventual winner of the DRS section was Michael Valantine/Erin Valantine (Stanza), closely followed by Jack Wightman/Steve Beaufoy (280Z), Brett Bower/Anthony Wilcockson (Commodore) and Richard Thomas/Leigh Brimson-Pierce (Silvia).

The DRS4 section was taken out by Jason Giddins/Katie Fletcher, who finished a stunning 4th outright in the orange WRX, followed by Bethany Cullen/Mel McMinn (Evo 8) and Stewart Corner/Bill Fry in the immaculate silver STI.

Four crews fronted up in the Hyundai Rally Series, with Tom Lavis/Peter Lavis taking the honours followed by Andrew & John Crowley.  Third were Mark Morison/Andrew Penny and rounding out the field was Karina Moloney in her very first drive of the newly prepared orange Excel, with Tim Wilkins on the road book and hand brake.

The ACT series points went to Bethany Cullen/Mel McMinn in the TechWorkz Gold Cup, Richard Thomas/Leigh Brimson-Pierce in the Shannons Silver Cup and Autotech Clubman and the Lavis boys in the V-Sport CBR Novice series.

The next round of the TechWorkz DRS and HRS will be the “BP Clybucca” at Kempsey on 1 July.