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South Australians Kevin Weeks and Bec Crunkhorn overcame a last-minute drama to win their first 2007 Aeromil Pacific Classic Adelaide rally today.

After 33 special stages and 250 km of competitive driving over four days, Weeks and Crunkhorn arrived at the finish in their 1975 Porsche 911 RSR just 12.1 seconds ahead of the winners of the past five events, Rex Broadbent and Michael Goedheer.

A further 37.7 seconds behind, Jim Richards and Barry Oliver made it a trifecta for Porsche on the podium for the fastest class in the Competition category, Late Classic.

Local crew Cameron Wearing and Rebecca Cochrane drove their 1971 Ford Capri V8 to victory in the Classic class, while Ray Jones and Wolf Grodd braved the elements more than most to win the Historic class in their 1929 Chrysler 75 Le Mans roadster.

The 11th annual event finished in brilliant sunshine, with most of the original 260 starters making it across the line before a large crowd in Adelaide’s East Terrace.

Out on the stages, thousands of people packed the spectator points, including former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.

Although Weeks won every leg of the event from the Prologue to the final day, it was in the end a lucky victory.

“We lost fourth gear in Mount Lofty and did Picadilly, Echunga and Paris Creek Long with only one gear before we were able to repair it at the lunch break,” Weeks said.

“When we were locked in fourth we thought it was all over, but then we said, well, anything can happen and pushed on.

“We had to really lay into the car to keep the speed up, but on the straight sections we were limited to 200 kmh when we should have been doing 250 in fifth.”

The gearbox problem dropped Weeks back towards the Porsche 911 RS of Rex Broadbent, who took two stage wins as he pushed hard to make up for a mistake yesterday.

“I overshot a corner yesterday and lost about 12 seconds – and that’s the margin we lost by today,” Broadbent said.

“We knew Kevin was stuck in fourth gear but quite frankly I wouldn’t want to have won because of his mechanical problem – he drove really well.

“I’m happy; Michael and I had a ball. It doesn’t get much better than coming into the final day fighting over tenths of a second with a driver like Jim Richards.”

Despite having the eight-time Targa Tasmania winner at the wheel, the four-cylinder Porsche 944 Turbo Cup of Jim Richards had no answer for the powerful 911s over today’s last eight stages in the Adelaide Hills, and claimed the same finishing position as in 2006.

Richards’ co-driver Barry Oliver also said it wasn’t his best day.

“I fell off the pace notes a couple of times and it took me a couple of calls to get back on track. Jim drove superbly, as usual.”

Classic winner Cameron Wearing traded punches with Rick Bates and Jenny Brittain until their Porsche 911 retired with mechanical problems in the Strathalbyn stage on Friday.

“After Rick and Jenny dropped off we decided to maintain our pace and try to keep our margin at the front,” Wearing said.

“We had a puncture and a fuel tank problem, but we built this car to win Classic Adelaide and it has done it.”

RESULTS – DAY FOUR (sponsored by Alliance Airlines) & FINAL

Competition category

Late Classic class (cars built 1972-1990)

1. Kevin Weeks (SA) / Bec Crunkhorn (SA) 1975 Porsche 911 RSR - 7 min. 42.8 sec. behind target time
2. Rex Broadbent (Vic.) / Michael Goedheer (Vic.) 1974 Porsche 911 RS – 7:54.9
3. Jim Richards (Vic.) / Barry Oliver (Tas.) 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup – 8:32.6
4. Tim Possingham (SA) / Darren Lee (SA) 1989 Nissan Silvia – 10:06.4
5. Dean Goess (SA) / Wayne Klar (Vic.) 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo – 11:57.5

Classic (1948-1972)

1. Cameron Wearing (SA) / Rebecca Cochrane (SA) 1971 Ford Capri Perana – 13:25.2
2. Len Cattlin (Vic) / Gayle Cattlin (Vic.) 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
3. Bill Brentzell (SA / Peter Stringfellow (Qld) 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Historic (up to 1947)1929

1. Ray Jones (NSW) / Wolf Grodd (Qld) 1929 Chrysler 75 Le Mans – 42:22.9
2. Paul Chaleyer (Vic.) / Martin Utber (Vic.) 1933 Alvis Speed 25 – 54:40.9
3. John Felder (Vic.) / Steve Demmer (Vic.) 1930 Oakland 8-101 – 1:10:18.2

Heritage

1. Kevin Weeks (SA) / Bec Crunkhorn (SA) 1975 Porsche 911 RSR – 6:11.9
2. Rex Broadbent (Vic.) / Michael Goedheer (Vic.) 1974 Porsche 911 RS – 6:13.6
3. Barry Faux (ACT) / Therezia Mihajlovic (ACT) 1979 Mazda RX-7 – 7:35.4

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