Round 3 of the MTA NSW Rally Championship would head to the Australia Capital for the Netier National Capital Rally.
The rally would be made up of two identical heats of four stages each, in the forests surrounding Canberra. The eight stages would start off wet but dried out quickly with bright sunny weather making the conditions ideal. The roads of the Sherwood Forest and Cotter River area off Paddys River Road would host this year’s competition.
Heat 1 got under way on a cool and brisk Canberra morning with Glen Raymond and Kate Catford taking the Heat 1 victory in their Mitsubishi Lancer EVO.
At the Midday Service we spoke to Glen about the morning stages “I must admit, Tom was going hard, and I must admit that I probably didn’t wake up when my alarm went off this morning, so the first two stages I just dropped some time. In stage three I was quickest, and everything started moving together. Unfortunately, Tom Clarke has had an issue and I feel really bad for him because he was putting in some really good times.
Tom Clarke was hoping that this rally would bring better luck and he started strong, winning the first two stages. But then an issue would bring it all undone.
“Yeah look, we cleared the first two quite nicely and got into the third and we got about a kilometre from the end and we had a hose let go. So, we got out of that stage, we repaired the hose but in that fourth stage it let go within 500 metres, but we limped out of the stage. But that’s damaged this Rally as we probably lost about seven minutes I’d say” said Clarke at the Midday service.
This elevated Tristan Kent up into 2nd place, although he was having issues of his own.
“I’m really struggling to come to terms with the notes. Now I’m braking and lifting for so many things I shouldn’t be so it’s really hard to commit” said Kent.
Rounding out the top 3 was Andrew Penny in the Subaru WRX. He was pushing hard and enjoying the conditions.
“I’ve been driving pretty smooth most of today. We started off slow and then the road seemed to be coming to us in the last couple stages. It just seemed to be working for us. It’s nice to have it all run well” said driver Andre Penny.
And in the East Coast Classic Series, It’s a familiar face taking heat 1, with Tom Dermody taking the top honours.
The second heat of the Netier National Capital Rally would see Glenn Raymond and Kate Catford stamped their authority on the MTA New South Wales Rally Championship, winning every stage on the afternoon pass over the stages. They dominated the rally from start to finish.
At the final stop control we spoke to winning Driver Glen Raymond “Yeah, It’s pretty exciting. Man it’s hard work out here in Canberra. Kate did an amazing job. Those notes are just coming out consistently, but I must admit those last two stages I pushed a little bit more just to make sure that I had some good times. Now the other boys can go and do some homework”
Tristan Kent tried his hardest to keep up with Raymond. He had a new co-driver Kirra Penny calling the pace notes to help him with pace notes. He finally started to come to terms with his notes and finished the heat in third, and the overall event in second outright.
At the end of the stage he was hot, but glad to be finishing yet another event with a good result.
“Yeah I’m pretty wrapped. Three podiums from three starts this year. The new cars going well, I guess. I’m slowly getting my head around it. but hopefully more speed comes” said Kent.
Richard Shimmon and Jim Gleeson had finished heat one in fourth, and then went on to do the same in the second heat. His consistency would be rewarded with a third outright.
“Look, once we’d done a couple of the stages again today we knew that we were here for points so we’ve kept it in the middle of the road and we’re pretty happy” said Shimmon at the end of the final special stage.
Tom Clarke had issues in Heat One, but was back for Heat Two and pushed hard to take the battle to Raymond. But at the end of the four afternoon stages his times were good, but not good enough for the win and the White Wolf Racing Team had to settle for second in the heat.
In the East Coast Classic Series, Tom Dermoday once again dominated. Winning both heats and the round.
“Yeah, we’re pretty happy. We had a good run, a nice and clean run, no damage, well not too much anyway and it was a good rally. We’ll be missing the Batemans Bay round, but hopefully we have enough points ahead now that we can stay ahead. When we come back to the Bonalbo Rally we hope that we can do the same there, but we just have to keep going and see what happens’ said Dermody at the end of the final stage.
1 Glen Raymond Kate Catford Mitsubishi
2 Tristan Kent Kirra Penny Mitsubishi
3 Richard Shimmon Jim Gleeson Mitsubishi
4 Andrew Penny Rhys Llewellyn Subaru
5 Tony Sullens Kaylie Newell Citroen
6 Tom Clarke Ryan Preston Mitsubishi
7 Thomas Dermondy Eoin Moynihan Fotrd
8 Bethany Cullen Jasmine Lockley Mitsubishi
9 Stuart Collison Lance Arundel Subaru
10 Peter Dimmock Pete Hellwig Datsun
11 Peter Stringfellow sr Peter Stringfellow jr Datsun