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Victorians Brian and Lin Dermott and their racey red Austin Healey will contest their tenth Classic Adelaide this week – the only crew/car combination to have done all 10 of the South Australian-based tarmac rallies.

The combination have also done seven Targa Tasmanias and three Mt Buller Sprints, for a total of 20 tarmac rallies since 1997.

“If you throw in the two Bathurst events and dozens of other races, it’s been quite a lot of work for the old thing,” Brian Dermott told RallySport Magazine.

The Dermott’s record in Adelaide isn't too bad, and reads as follows (in Brian’s words):

  • 1997: 50th, 4th class (our first ever rally, threw fan belt, burnt arm getting it on but finished)
  • 1998: 10th, 1st in class
  • 1999: 8th, 1st in class
  • 2000: DNF
  • 2001: 19th, 2nd in class (by 2 seconds to the demon duo of Ken Roscrow and Richard Hansen in the 1959 Bentley Special - our first event on pacenotes, their first on sticky tyres)
  • 2002: 13th (first year of Heritage system) 1st in class
  • 2003: 2nd, 1st in class (Healey’s best result in 20 tarmac rallies, we came 3rd in Targa that year too)
  • 2004: 10th, 2nd in class (to the Freestones, both of us just back from a 5000km tour of Europe in our Healeys)
  • 2005: 10th, 2nd in class (them again! Near miss as we hit the armco on “Eagle” stage, damage cost $18,000 afterwards)   

In the nine Classic Adelaides they have contested so far, they have had only one DNF, and have been in the top 10 in five – a great effort.

Simon Gardiner and Mike Conway (winners in 2004) have prepared the Healey since 2001 and the same engine is still in the car. This year their only ambition is to finish in one piece.

“Although I'm now 65, I've been competing on circuits in a Group Nc Torana prepared by Mansfield Motorsport (Brett Smith and Andrew Lawry). To my surprise, we are fourth in the Historic Touring Car State Series and second Torana out of 32 competing. We were at Bathurst this year too, coming third Torana out of 10.

“But Lin is left out by racing and so Brett is building us a wonderful tarmac Torana to the new C2 regs - an LC is allowed to run the 3300 LJ motor in Category 4,” Brian adds. “Targa will be its first outing and if we like it in the snow of Tasmania we'll try the new Suncoast Classic out of Noosa next year as well!”

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