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Michael Guest and David Green have had a disappointing end to the Sprint Auto Parts Rally of South Australia in the Barossa Valley.

Driving their Pirtek Les Walkden Rallying Subaru Impreza WRX STI, the pair had been fourth after the opening two super special stages on Friday night.

They maintained that position after the first forest stage of the rally on Saturday morning, but in treacherously wet conditions, they left the road on stage four, hitting a tree.

Guest and Green were shaken and sore after the crash, but fortunately uninjured. However, the same couldn’t be said for their car, which was too badly damaged and they were forced to withdraw from the rally.

Lying fourth in the Australian Rally Championship prior to Rally SA, Guest had been confident of a good result in South Australia, but it wasn’t to be.

“During the stage I felt really comfortable with everything. In fact I think it was the best I’ve driven the Pirtek LWR car all year,” Guest said.

“The conditions were terrible with heavy rain and thick fog. I misheard a pacenote and we came in to a corner too fast and hit a tree very hard on the driver’s side of the car.”

The Subaru bounced back on to the road and Guest was able to drive the final 5km to the finish control, but with substantial damage to the chassis, they were forced to retire from the rally.

“It’s a real testament to the strength of the car and the work that Les Walkden Rallying have done that we were able to emerge relatively unscathed, but we’ve paid a huge price today,” he added.

“It’s the biggest hit I’ve had in the 20 years I’ve been rallying.”

The Pirtek Les Walkden Rallying team will re-shell Guest’s Subaru in preparation for the team’s home event, the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge, in Burnie, on October 4 and 5.

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