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Kevin Weeks completed another clean sweep of special stages on day two of Classic Adelaide today, boosting his lead despite a mechanical problem with his Porsche that could have spoiled his chase for a second straight win in the international tarmac rally.

Although slowed when the Porsche’s gearbox jammed in fourth gear for two stages, Weeks and co-driver Bec Crunkhorn finished a demanding day more than 40 seconds up on fellow South Australians Ian Wilson and Jahmeil Taylor in the outright Competition-Late Classic category.

Jim Richards and Barry Oliver, who have won Targa Tasmania eight times but never Classic Adelaide, used the occasionally wet conditions to haul themselves from sixth place overnight to third tonight in a Porsche that is significantly heavier and less powerful than the leader’s.

Weeks said the gearbox problem appeared to be the same one that struck on day four of the 2007 event. His crew of Oscar Fiorinotto and Brad Greenslade repaired the car during the Victor Harbor lunch stop, but have more work to do tonight.

“I’m a bit worried about it, but I have a fantastic service crew and they will completely rebuild the gearbox tonight,” he said.

Rain alternating with damp or greasy road patches for much of the day suited the style of Jim Richards, a renowned wet weather driver.

His co-driver said: “It was a good day. We’re quite happy with how things are going but if we had another 100 horsepower we’d be even happier.

“The bar has gone up again this year. Weeks and Bill Pye are certainly quicker than us.

“There’s a limit to what you can do and you’re silly to try any harder. It’s a four-day rally and we’re not quite half-way in terms of kilometres, so we’re sitting okay.”

In the Competition-Classic category for 1947-1972 cars, Rick Bates and Jenny Brittain (Porsche 911) retained their leader over Cameron Wearing and Rebecca Cochrane (Ford Capri V8), but Adam Debiasi and Dean Hosking put in an outstanding effort to lift their 1970 Volkswagen Beetle from sixth place to third.

John and Andrew Lawson lead the Competition-Historic category in a 1938 Alfa Romeo.

The varying weather and challenging nature of today’s stages – none longer than nine kilometres – resulted in several retirements, including three rollovers on the 13th stage, Hindmarsh Falls Reverse, which preceded the lunch break. No injuries were reported.

Day two, which concluded with thousands of people viewing the field parked at the city’s Gouger Street Party tonight, was without one of the early fancied runners, Steve Glenney.

The 2008 Targa Tasmania winner spent the day watching his crew rebuild the engine of his Lancia Delta Integrale, which failed on the final stage yesterday.

Glenney expects to rejoin the rally tomorrow, when a further nine stages take the 220-car field into the beautiful Adelaide Hills, morning tea at the National Motor Museum at Birdwood and a popular lunch stop in the closed main street of Macclesfield.

RESULTS – DAY TWO, provisional (sponsored by Leader Computers)

Late Classic (1972-1990)
  1. Kevin Weeks/Bec Crunkhorn (SA, 1975 Porsche 911 RS)
  2. Ian Wilson/Jahmiel Taylor (SA, 1978 Triumph TR7 V8) 41.6 sec. behind leader
  3. Bill Pye/Grant Geelan (NSW, 1974 Porsche 911 RS) 52.1 sec. behind leader

Classic (1948-1971) 
  1. Rick Bates/Jenny Brittain (1971 Porsche 911)
  2. Cameron Wearing/Ben Fitzsimons (1971 Ford Capri Perana)
  3. Adam Debiasi/Dean Hosking (SA, 1970 Volkswagen Beetle)

Historic (1900-1947)
  1. John Lawson/Andrew Lawson (Vic, 1938 Alfa Romeo)
  2. Bernie O’Shannessy/Tony Borbridge (Vic., 1929 Chrysler Roadster)
  3. Wes Wilkinson/Di Wilkinson (Vic. 1920 Frontenac Indianapolis)
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