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An eventful NGK Rally of Melbourne saw Kira Douglas and Mandy Rudham claim the P6 class win for the weekend, handing Kira the National P6 driver’s title for the year by a margin of only two points!  

Over Saturday’s morning stages of the two-day event, Kira and Mandy settled in for their first Australian Rally Championship event together, and despite some minor handling problems, their Mitsubishi Galant VR4 performed well.

Early into the second pass of the infamous 'Ben Cairn' stage the car suffered a puncture and the girls were forced to drive on the flat tyre until there was space to stop on the narrow stage, losing them considerable time.   

A heavy downpour on Saturday night saw the roads completely change character and despite looking forward to a better day’s rallying, Mandy and Kira were hindered by a slipping clutch, which they nursed throughout the day’s competition.  Stormy conditions on Sunday caused two stages to be cancelled, but the KRS crew were determined to claim back time from a competitor in a Subaru Impreza in front of them.

A brave run over the penultimate 'Mt Slide' stage after yet another heavy downpour saw them move up to 13th outright.
 
The event concluded with a final run around the de Bortoli Super Special stage where they brought the VR4 home for the P6 win. 

25 year old Kira Douglas is only the second woman in ARC history to claim a national class award as a driver, South Australia’s Denise Collins being the first. Kira started her rally career five years ago in a Mk.2 Escort in Western Australia, but the mechanical engineer has since called South Australia home.

She is now based in Victoria where she works for General Motors Holden as an Engine Calibration Engineer.   Kira prepares the Galant herself, running her modest team and funding each event, all the while juggling full time work commitments.

“I’m relieved the season is finished but I’ve already set about making plans for next year. I’ve learnt so much this year that I can’t wait to put it into action,” she said. 

Kira is already planning to take on the ARC with an all-female crew in 2007.  Thanks must go to the team’s sponsors for their support through the year - Westside Bodyworks for keeping the Galant looking so good, Fabraications for fabricating parts too perfect for a rally car, Josh at Guru Motorsport Graphics for making the Galant stand out, and special thanks to Howard at Race Brakes who came to our rescue with last minute brake repairs.

Thanks also to FCL transport and Stuckey Tyre Service for all their assistance. And thank you Natalie, Brian and Nigel for being an awesome service crew. 
 
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