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Marty Beckton proved he had lost none of his old skills by winning the third KCF Rallysport Short Course Rally on Saturday, September 15.

With co-driver John McCarthy, and the very pretty Evo 6.5 Lancer absolutely humming, the duo won the event very convincingly over 53 kilometres of rally roads. In doing so, the pair held off Stewart Reid/John Allen in the Group N(P) Toyota Corolla, Matt van Tuinen/Alan Stean (WRX) and Paul Bergmann/Melinda Both (WRX) to be fastest on the day by a country mile.

Only 22 starters took the field at Jimna for one of the popular KCF Short-Course events offered by the Brisbane Sporting Car Club. With a new clerk-of-Course at the helm in the form of Kathy Mullally, the event ran promptly to schedule on a bright sunny day.
With two stages of a shade over six and eleven kilometres respectively, crews were offered two recce runs before competition started to make pace notes.These events are seen as an ideal forum to develop pace noting skills. Three runs over each stage would count towards the final tally.

It was pleasing to see Stewie Reid out in the forest once again, and just as pleasing to see the magnificent Toyota Corolla at work in a smaller-status event. Despite starting reasonably well, the Corolla would suffer overheating problems and was parked after SS2.

Although Reid and van Tuinen were split by a single second over SS1 ‘Eastern Nutbush 1’, it was Beckton who immediately impressed with a flyer to grab the early lead by a massive 18 seconds. The second stage, ‘Marumbah Mamba 1’ at 11.15km, was unusually long for the Jimna Forest, but a true drivers’ stage with an average speed of just over 60 kph! Once again, Beckton showed who was boss on the day by demolishing the opposition.

Ryan and Rebecca Smart were driving consistently well in their Datsun 180B, and posting some times inside the top five, along with Craig Aggio/Gavin Weiland in the Toyota Celica. Dave Ovenden can always be expected to perform well in his immaculate Mazda RX2, and with Cate Kelly alongside in this event, he was doing just that.

Nathaniel Dillon/Greg Bankin unfortunately retired their Gemini with a very slow roll which crushed the roof and popped the screen, but did not affect the wheel alignment of their car. Similarly, protagonists Kent Lawrence and Chris Nunn had an accident in their Gemini to also retire for the day.

The event was heavily supported by the one-make Gemini category with nine of the 22 entries taking the opportunity to get rally miles behind the wheel.

On the second pass of Nutbush and Marumbah Mamba, Beckton/McCarthy kept up the pace to add to an increasing lead. The beautiful Evo 6.5 Lancer was performing faultlessly by all accounts, and Matt van Tuinen was clearly the best of the rest – but unable to make inroads.

Bergmann had retired after a reported altercation with the scenery, and while the remaining 4WD cars took advantage of the situation, the field was not backing off and each re-run showed an overall improvement in times. Chris Wedding/Mike Lasijczuk (Datsun 1600) were also showing a turn of speed.

With one more pair of stages to run, Beckton turned up the wick yet again to record his fastest time of the day on the long stage and cement an excellent result. Van Tuinen improved yet again to crack the ten minute barrier on ‘Marumbah Mamba 3’ – the only other driver in the event to do so all day.

With six stages run over 52.26 kilometres, it was a Mitsubishi day with Beckton/McCarthy claiming a popular outright win. Van Tuinen/Stean claimed second with Ryan and Rebecca Smart showing outstanding commitment to take the third step on the podium. Fourth went to Ovenden/Kelly with Street/Lasjiczuk rounding out the top five.

David Claes/Jay Clegg held on for a fighting eighth outright in their Volvo 244GL.

Taking the top spot in the Gemini series was a just reward for Tim Dillon, co-driven by his dad Adrain. Second Gemini went to Ed Williams/Joseph Brennan and third spot was taken by Cameron Sluce/Charles McAlister.

The event was another successful day, with thanks to the ongoing support of Keith Fackrell of KCF Rallysport.
Keith not only sponsored the event, but ran as fast sweep on the day in his tidy Mark 2 Escort.

Results:

1. Marty Beckton/John McCarthy, Evo. 6.5 Lancer,  41:46
2. Matt van Tuinen/Alan Stean,  WRX,  44:31
3. Ryan Smart/Rebecca Smart,  180B,  46:04
4. Dave Ovenden/Cate Kelly,  RX2,  46:52
5. Craig Aggio/Gavin Wieland,  Toyota Celica, 49:44
6. Tim Dillon/Adrian Dillon, Gemini,  50:35
7. Viv Gees/Brad Wedlock, Falcon Tudor,  50:53
8. David Claes/Jay Clegg,  Volvo 244GL, 51:33
9. Edwin Williams/Joseph Brennan, Gemini,  51:37.

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