Grant Denyer, driving the Les Walkden Rallying-prepared Subaru Impreza WRX STI, has finished the Noosa Hillclimb, the prologue to the SunCoast Classic, in fifth place.

The event proper gets underway tomorrow, finishing on Sunday afternoon, but the star of Seven’s It Takes Two was happy with his opening hit out against some top competition.

Setting the fastest time in the prologue of the inaugural SunCoast Classic was Ray Vandersee in his 2004 Skelta G-Force, with Jim Richards (2007 Porsche GT3 RS) second, Matt Close (2001 Porsche Turbo) third and Andrew Taplin (2004 Porsche GT3) fourth.

The times today determine start position for the rally itself and do not contribute to the overall time of the three-day event.

Denyer was pleased just to get behind the wheel and the chance to get his head in the game.

“It was a good day,” Denyer said. “The first thing I had to do was retrain my brain because every time I get into a car my head defaults to two-wheel drive, so this time I had to get used to the all-wheel drive of the Subaru.”

“I also had to get used to driving with notes again. Dale (Moscatt), my co-driver, does this for a living, but it’s not something I’ve done a lot of so you have to get used to driving to the notes and relearning the language between driver and co-driver.

“I think the car will be rally well suited to this event and Les Walkden prepares an immaculate car.”

“There are a lot of blind crests, a lot of changes of surface and some really rough sections. The Subaru holds so well on the road and it’s so easy to change direction.”

“Les (Walkden) has learned to build cars from working with some of the best rally drivers in the business. This car has tremendous suspension travel. It’s great to drive.”

“We know that this is going to be a long game. You certainly couldn’t win it today, you won’t win it tomorrow, so our job is to be there on Sunday and hopefully we can produce a top five result.”

The SunCoast Classic takes place on the Sunshine Coast and the hinterland. There are a total of 25 special stages across 182 competitive kilometres.
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