Crucial win for Hynes at Trade Hire Donnelly Rally
- 21st May 2012, 8:47am
The Busselton Subaru driver (right) was the top seed in the Trade Hire Donnelly Rally on Saturday and went hard from the get go.
His bright orange WRX hit speeds of up to 187km/h on the fast, clean stages and he and co-driver Stuart Percival blitzed the field in the first three stages to take a 70 second lead.
“That’s always our tactic. We just go flat out from the start. That way there’s a bit of a buffer if we have any problems,” he said.
It proved a smart move for Hynes and Percival because, in the third-last stage of the Donnelly Rally, their car developed a brake line issue. With no opportunity for service, they were forced to run 41 competitive kilometres with no rear brakes.
Percival praised Hynes for how he handled the stages: “Leigh did extremely well just to keep us on the road and, bar a couple of safety-induced overshoots, we got through.”
The final result was a seven second win over Alex Stone and Hanna Drury. Doug Tostevin and Tammy Adams were third. The top three were all competing in WRXs.
Hynes said the win made up for not finishing the season opener – the Quit Forest Rally – last month. He and Percival were forced to retire on both days with mechanical problems.
“The win has given us some hope we can still win the championship,” Hynes said.
Stone leads the WARC driver’s points with 68.
Second is John O’Dowd who was fifth outright in Donnelly. Third is Tostevin.
Hynes is equal forth in the championship with Tom Wilde (who didn’t compete in Donnelly because he’s competing in the International Rally of Queensland next weekend) and leading two-wheel driver Dylan King (pictured left).
Seventeen year old King was untouchable in Donnelly in his Ford Escort.
He said he was blown away that he and fill-in co-driver Tony Floyd (his regular sidekick Andrew Hannigan was away for work) won every stage in their class.
“It was awesome. I’m really proud.”
What made that feat even more impressive was the fact King and Floyd had never even sat in a car together before the event.
“I was a bit nervous, but we clicked straight away,” the young driver said.
King and Floyd’s toughest competition in the event came from Julian Wright and Ian De Boer who were just four seconds slower on stage five. But they were forced out after rolling their Datsun 1200.
The competition in the event’s Clubman Cup was tight with just a minute and 23 seconds between the top five – all in Toyota Corollas.
Matt Snaddon and Blake Thompson had a tough tussle with Jason Lowther and Matthew Teape but managed to back up their win from the Quit Forest Rally.
Trade Hire Donnelly Rally was held in the forests around the Donnelly Mill, near Bridgetown, and run over 157km competitively for the outright competition and 101km for the Clubman Cup.
The next WARC event is the Experts Cup Rally on June 23 in Collie.
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