Molly Taylor's badly damaged Subaru WRX was just 10 minutes away from being in tip-top condition heading into heat two of the Eureka Rally last weekend.
The 2016 champ heavily crashed her Subaru into a tree stump on the event's second stage, and when the car was finally returned to the service park, the Subaru team were in a race against time to have it ready for the afternoon stages.
"The car got light over a crest on a narrow piece of road, and we were sliding down the road," Taylor said.
"We were heading for a big tree, but the front right of the car hit a tree stump on the left hand side of the road, stopping us in our tracks."
The car's engine still ran, but the radiator was holed and when the car returned to the Beaufort service area, it looked like it had been 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.
A focussed Molly Taylor was forced to cruise through the heat two stages. Photo: Peter Whitten
The front was ripped off and there was visible damage to the rails and many other vital components.
Head mechanic, Jason White, and his crew got stuck in with an hour to have the car repaired and back on the road.
Angle grinders and hammers did most of the initial work, but eventually the Subaru started to take shape again.
After an hour, they were 10 minutes short of getting the car fully repaired.
"We were pretty disappointed, because we thought we'd get it done in the time allowed," White told RSM from Cairns this week, where he is set to compete in Targa Great Barrier Reef.
"We managed to get everything straight and a full radiator support panel put back in, but ran out of time for a few other small things.
Jason White and the Subaru mechanics start work on Taylor's battered WRX. Photo: Peter Whitten
"It was a real shame, because the car was nearly perfect again, and we were hoping she could be back to full speed in the afternoon."
With the team vital to score points in heat two, Taylor and co-driver Malcolm Read crawled through the final four stages, being slowest on all of them, but at least getting to the end.
"They were going so slow that they actually phoned us for a chat during one of the stages," White added.
The points gathering effort paid off, with Taylor still third in the Australian Rally Championship title race, just two points behind Lewis Bates and his Toyota.
She has a handy 52 point advantage over fourth placed John O'Dowd, but runaway leader Harry Bates now has a stranglehold on his first title, leading by 106 points.
A brilliant effort got the Subaru back and running after the one hour service. Photo: Peter Whitten
Damage to the Subaru do Motorsport car was extensive. Photo: Peter Whitten
By clicking "Subscribe Now" you agree to receive news, offers and updates on RallySport Magazine.
If you do not wish to receive marketing communications, you can update your preferences in My Account.
We will commence charging your payment method after the 7 day free trial expires.
If you cancel after expiry of your trial, cancellation will take effect from the end of your current monthly subscription period.
You will not be refunded any fees paid to RallySport Magazine unless otherwise set out in the terms and conditions.
Welcome to RallySport Magazine VIP Membership.
Get ready for your rally news experience to completely transform.
Start browsing news, exclusive VIP content or check out your account.