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Clinton Arentz and Peter Burrey have proved they own the #1 on their car door; the 2012 Champions taking out the top spot at Round One of the 2013 Australian Tarmac Rally Championship, the Mt Baw Baw Sprint, on March 2 - 3.

This year’s multi-stage Mt Baw Baw Sprint saw competition and touring cars take on the 28km narrow, twisting forest road from Icy Creek to the Baw Baw summit in multiple stages, with runs split halfway up and down the mountain for most of the weekend, totalling over 200 competitive kilometres - and about 200 metres of liaison!

The grand finale saw the stages joined together; 20km down and a gruelling 28 kilometres up to the finish, taking even the swiftest car 17 minutes to ascend, but averaging 90 km/h.

Unlike last year, the skies cleared right before the event, though not before depositing some large trees across the stages, leaving some cut-away trunks, stumps, and debris on the road, just to keep things interesting!

It was a tough weekend on both car and driver, with several cars dropping off the order due to mechanical failures or gentle road excursions, though only egos were bruised in the process.

Three of the frontrunners fell to the former; Mitsubishi Evo IX pairing Danny Traverso and Tim Kulhanek set some swift times before their gearbox gave up on Day One, while Jeff and Catherine Denmeade in an Evo VIII split the turbo return line on the morning of day two, and lost stages to the repairs. And Nathan Reeves and Reubecca Sheldrick were left to wonder what might have been, setting some stunning stage times near the end of the event, but hampered by a failing fuel pump and losing a turbo hose on two separate occasions.

The outright battle went down to Arentz and Burrey in their Evo X, who fended of 2012 winner Samantha Stevens and co-driving husband Daniel Lemish in their Evo VI, followed by Vlad Berak and Michael Luff in a Subaru WRX.

The Classic win was a tussle between two father-son teams, with Paul and Lachie Stuart (Porsche 911) holding off Keith and Alex Morling (Ford Escort).

The Showroom class was won by Glyn Crimp/Frank Brookhouse, the Early Modern spoils went to Stevens and Lemish, while the Modern category saw Arentz and Burrey claim another scalp.

Mountain Motorsports and all the competitors hailed the staff at Mt Baw Baw Resort, RallySafe GPS tracking, and the tireless Race Solutions staff at the podium champagne spray, which took place on the deck of the Village Restaurant overlooking the Victorian alpine surrounds.
Round Two, the Lake Mountain Sprint, will be held on the 25th – 26th May, and will encompass 200 kilometres of multi-stage super specials.

Check out www.australiantarmacrally.com for information on the 2013 Championship, register your interest for the remaining three rounds, view the new Classifieds section and Forum discussion Board, and for all the Regs and Forms for the upcoming events.

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