Abblitt and Hodgetts take victory in Retreat
- 3rd May 2016, 11:55pm
The Retreat Rally, run by the Motor Sports Club of Tasmania, provided some outstanding performances but none more so than the winning team of Keith Abblitt and Adrian Hodgetts in their Subaru WRX STi.
The North-West coast crew dominated the nine stages that were completed, winning all but the first stage, and finishing on top in both heats to win the event overall by two minutes and 23 seconds in extremely wet and muddy conditions.
Former state champion Lee Peterson and co-driver Daniel Willson finished a remarkable second in the much-rallied Nissan Sunny GTi and gave the 4WD brigade a wakeup call to take out stage one in the screaming front-wheel drive car.
Despite the conditions, which no doubt favoured the 4WD cars, Peterson called on all his years of experience to be constantly up with front runners. It was a great effort.
Third place went to former state champion Andrew Wylie and three time champion co-driver Damien Grimwood in their Subaru WRX STi, who lost most of their time on the three runs through the 18.5 kilometre Northern Loop stage. In parts the stage was very rough and became increasingly muddy with each run, and Wylie/Grimwood obviously erred on the side of caution.
John Davidson and Steve Norris's Subaru WRX STi was completed only hours before the start of the event, but the six weeks turning a shell into a full blown rally car paid off with a consistent run to fourth, whilst shaking down the new car.
Fifth place went to Darren Clark and Keegan Buckley in the Group B lookalike Mazda RX7, with the father and son combination of Tim and Elliott Ritchie in their Subaru WRX rounding out the top six after a fine performance.
A full report and more photos from the event will appear in next week's free digital edition of RallySport Magazine.
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