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The Bega Valley Motors Rally was shortened by three stages on Sunday after morning rain made some roads almost impassable.

The crews therefore had a result earlier than expected, with most crews back in Bega shortly after sunset. The largest entry of any gravel rally in Australia this year was therefore at the Bega RSL eating dinner when they should have been on the stages!  

The Classic cars were first on the road, and the class was dominated by the Datsun 1600 of Kiri Dirickx and Tim Batten. The pair entertained the large crowds on the shire stages close to Bega, bringing back memories of the two wheel drive heyday of the '70's and early '80's.  

These classic cars are quickly becoming a crowd favourite. The period cars were being driven hard, and second place was taken by Melbourne's Darryn and Steuart Snooks in their Datsun Stanza. Third was the Fiat 131 of Shawn Urquhart and Fred Gocentas, who showcased a very rare car on the Bega stages.  

The sister car to the Snooks' Datsun Stanza of five-times Australian champion, WA's Ross Dunkerton and Queensland based co-driver Alan Stean, was hobbled by an engine failure on Friday when unloading the car from its trip from Melbourne. A less powerful replacement was found, however the engine was down on power and Ross was unable to trouble the leaders.  

The outright event result was not the expected one either, with the Central Coast's Michael South and his co-driver Dale Moscatt (Sydney) leading the rally until the final stage when his fuel pump failed and he was stranded after the finish of the final stage. “It just lost power from the start and progressively got worse through the stage,” explained Michael as he sat in the car after the stage.  

The win therefore was handed to the brother and sister crew of Michael Boaden and Helen Cheers, from Wauchope on the northern NSW coast. This puts Boaden and Cheers in the lead of the NSW Rally Championship after two rounds, their more aggressive approach evident as they attacked the stages in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII.

Second in their earlier model Lancer Evo III was the Ulladulla combination of Gavin and Eric Croker. Third, and the first Victorian crew home (the event was also a round of the Victorian and ACT Rally Championships) was the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI of Justin Dowel and Matt Lee.

Victorian driver and brother of Toyota ARC works driver Simon, Eli Evans and Matt McAdam took fourth place. Fifth, after an amazing drive in an old car was the third Victorian crew, another brother and sister combination of Jesse and Sam Robison in the first class P6 car home, a Subaru Legacy.

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