Round 2 of the MTA NSW Rally Championship has been won by the Victorian team of Glen Raymond and Kate Catford in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO. It wasn’t an easy win though, the Singleton Automotive Caves Classic Rally proved to be a tough event with eight stages of mixed closed forest and open clear-felled sections.
Despite only winning two of the eight stages, Raymond drove consistently throughout the day and whilst others suffered issues, they maintained a sensible pace in very dusty conditions to get through the 132km rally drama free.
“The roads are really cool, and it’s been a really amazing adventure. I’m pretty stoked to be able to get whole package of getting to the finish and also winning” said Glen Raymond at the final finish control.
Tom Clarke and Ryan Preston were the early leaders, winning the first two stages and showing what they could deliver in their EVO 9 lancer. But it was short lived, with the car suffering a coil pack failure and they withdrew from Heat 1. They re-joined for the afternoon loop of stages, impressing with another two stage wins and taking the win in Heat 2. They won the most stages, with 4 fastest times from a total of eight stages.
Current NSW Rally Champions Glen Brinkman and Harvey Smith were having dramas right from the start in their Mitsubishi EVO, dropping almost a minute from the leaders with a hand brake jammed on. They would push on and despite continuing problems with the handbrake, and also a car sick co-driver, finished in 4th outright.
Tristan Kent and Robert Males were looking fast in the stages but couldn’t match the pace of their rivals. Kent was sometimes pushing a little bit too hard and was struggling to come to terms with the setup of the car and how the centre diff reacted. Despite some very close calls, and a number of spins costing valuable time, Kent would go on to finish in 3rd outright and take home more valuable points for the championship. He maintains his 2nd position in the MTA series.
Richard Shimmon and Jim Gleeson were first on the road in their Mitsubishi EVO 7 Lancer and whilst running first was a distinct disadvantage, it would pay off later. They swept the roads for the first pass over the four stages, but on the second pass, Shimmon would have a clear view ahead with none of the dust issues that other teams would experience. At the end of the rally, Shimmon would solidify their position in the MTA NSW championship with 2nd outright. They won stage 4, 7 and 8.
Andrew Penny and Rhys Llewellyn rounded out the top 5 places and were the first non-Lancer home. They had a trouble-free day in the Subaru WRX and were pleased with their efforts. The team were using the new Hoosier rally tyres and learning the limits of the tyre throughout the day with their best result a fourth outright on Stage 4.
Thomas Dermody and Eoin Moynihan in the Ford Escort RS1800 were the first 2WD car and also won the East Coast Classic Rally Series section of the event.
Tony Sullens and Kaylie Newell were the first front wheel drive car, finishing in 8th.
1 Glen Raymond/Kate Catford Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 1:18:32.0
2 Richard Shimmon/Jim Gleeson Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 7 1:19:14.0
3 Tristan Kent/Robert Males Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 1:20:06.0
4 Glenn Brinkman/Harvey Smith Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 1:21:29.0
5 Andrew Penny/Rhys Llewellyn Subaru WRX Sti 1:22:38.0
6 Thomas Dermondy/Eoin Moynihan Ford Escort RS1800 2WD 1:22:48.0
7 Ron Moore/Jo Moore Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VI 1:24:09.0
8 Tony Sullens/Kaylie Newell Citroen DS3 2WD 1:25:12.0
9 Michael O’Hagan/Patrick Skelton Ford Escort Mk2 2WD 1:26:52.0
10 Bethany Cullen/Mel McMinn Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6.5 1:27:14.0