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Harry Bates and John McCarthy lead the Eureka Rally after the opening four stages held north-east of Ballarat today. The Canberran driver leads by 16.7 seconds in his Toyota Yaris AP4. Steve Glenney, a late addition to the entry list, sits in second. Eli Evans recovered after a slow start to win the final two stages of the morning to be in third, still within striking distance of leader, Bates.

Eli Evans and Ben Searcy sits third. Photo: Luke Whitten

Subaru’s Molly Taylor struck issues early, with her and new co-driver, Malcolm Read, suffering two punctures across the morning. The Optus Peugeot of Adrian Coppin is off the pace, but showing signs of improvement early on in the piece. Reigning Victorian Rally Champion, Glen Raymond, started fantastically well in his new Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, however, struck problems, losing over five minutes on SS2, before not completing the morning loop.

Glen Raymond had a great start before hitting trouble. Photo: Luke Whitten

Stage three of the rally, Blackwood Ridge, was cancelled at the midway point, with all drivers unable to complete the stage given derivative times. The rally covers the same four stages this afternoon, before heading back to Ballarat for the overnight hault.
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