Clarke impressed as Rally of Queensland hits the forest
- 26th May 2012, 8:08pm
Clarke took part in two stages of Queensland Rally, the third round of the Bosch Australian Championship declaring he enjoyed the experience and he would certainly be open to having a serious go at the sport once his cricket career comes to a close .
"It was a really enjoyable experience and it well and truly bowled me over," said Michael Clarke.
"Cricket is easy compared to driving in this sport but I would certainly be interested in doing more of this after I finish in first class cricket, particularly if BP is kind enough to give me a car like this to do it in," he laughed.
"I took it pretty easy and made sure I brought the car back in one piece, that was the most important thing," the Aussie skipper said after reaching speeds of up to 160km/h on the tricky challenging forestry roads.
Clarke managed to stay out of trouble on the two stages he contested despite the fact that heavy rain made for the rallying equivalent of a sticky wicket in many places on the route.
Meanwhile in the rally proper South Australian Jack Monkhouse recorded a convincing heat win in the Bosch two-wheel drive Australian Rally Championship in the Nissan Sylvia S15 ahead of Eli Evans in Honda G2 Jazz by more than seven minutes.
Honda G2 Jazz driver Eli Evans managed to claw his way back from a puncture to take third position off the Holden Commodore ute of Matt Amos in the closing stages of the day and then claiming second off Alan Roe in the Nissan 200SX.
"We had a good go at it in the morning and built a big lead so I could take it a bit easier in the rough stuff this afternoon," Monkhouse said.
"I'm pretty confident heading into tomorrow. It is still very slippery off line so it will be all about picking where to put your foot into it to keep the stage times up."
Three Mitsubishi Evos took the podium in the Bosch four wheel drive Australian Rally Championship heat with Wauchope's Michael Boaden from New South Wales claiming the victory over championship leader Tom Wilde from WA and local Stephen Shepherd.
Boaden had a clean sweep taking fastest on all of today's nine competitive stages while it was a battle all day for second top spot. Wilde was second fastest on the opening two stages but was pipped by Shepherd on the third before consolidating as the day wore on to take valuable runners up points at the end of the heat.
Heat winner Boaden admitted rain earlier in the week made for challenging conditions.
"It was this morning tricky and I actually changed my driving style to cope with the wet patches and it has paid off," Boaden said.
"It was really hard to judge where to put the car and I had to use the torque to pull out of the wet conditions rather than flooring it and spinning the wheels."
In the Australian Classic Rally challenge, Neal Bates dominated the day in his Toyota Celica RA40 with nearly ten minutes separating him and the second placed Alfa Romeo Afetta GT of local Queenslander Richard Anderson.
Multi-Australian champion Ross Dunkerton was forced to retire after just one stage when after his Ford Escort developed engine issues despite being the second quickest on the stage.
Electrical gremlins plagued the debut of Jeff David's new Porsche 911 resulting in him missing all of the morning's stages. He was able to rectify the problem re-joining the rally for the afternoon stages and will be out to show the capabilities of the new Porsche in tomorrow's second heat.
Another multi-Australian Rally Champion, Cody Crocker has extended his Side by Side Rally Challenge lead with a win in today's heat. Crocker had a two minute victory over fellow Polaris driver Iain Hughes while Can-Am rival Michael Guest took third.
Round three of the Bosch Australian Rally Championship, the International Rally of Queensland continues with heat two on Sunday scheduled to finish at around 1pm.
Bosch Australian Rally Championship
Brakes Direct International Rally of Queensland
Two Wheel Drive Heat One Results
1 Jack Monkhouse/ Dale Moscatt Nissan Sylvia 1:17:08.4
2 Eli Evans/ Greg Weston Honda Jazz 1:24:20.4 (+7:12.0)
3 Alan Roe/ Ray Farrell Nissan 200 SX 1:24:50.7 (+7:43.2)
Four Wheel Drive Heat One Results
1 Michael Boaden/ Helen Cheers Mitsubishi Evo IX 1:13:56.1
2 Stephen Shepheard/ John McCarthy Mitsubishi Evo X 1:15:34.1 (+1:38.0)
3 Tom Wilde/Lee Tierney Mitsubishi Evo X 1:15.36.7 (+1:40.6)
Classic Rally Heat One Results
1 Neal Bates/ Coral Taylor Toyota Celica 1:18:47.1
2 Richard Anderson/ Martin Darch Alfa Romeo Afetta GT 1:28:02.9
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