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The DNA Rallysport team of Declan Dwyer and Claire Ryan in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III have claimed a convincing win in both heats of the Scouts Rally of South Australia.

The pair started the event in fine form on the Angaston Super Special stage posting an outright fastest time (0.2 of a second faster than current ARC leader Simon Evans).

Having been out of rallying for nearly 18 months Dwyer reported being a little nervous heading into the event but quickly got back into the groove.

“Our main competition was coming from James Rodda (Subaru WRX) and Victorian Warren Lee (Evo 9)” said Dwyer “But fortunately we had enough speed to keep our nose in front.”

Due to a shortage of funds, the team were forced to start the event on second hand tyres, but after such a strong showing on the Friday night super special stages, John Mills from Kumho Tyres stepped up and offered to put a set of brand new tyres on the car.

“This was just an amazing turn of events for us,” Dwyer said “These tyres were nothing short of sensational. They had amazing grip and the braking capabilities and stability of the car was vastly better than anything we had been on for a long time!”

With all the extra grip Dwyer and Ryan were able to keep the car well ahead of the front running SARC contenders, and by comparison, well and truly into the times of the top ARC teams.

Co-driver Claire Ryan said: “We are just thrilled to be able to achieve these results after such a long absence, it was like we never left! We just gelled immediately and the results followed.”

Ryan has just come off the back of competing in 7 straight tarmac rallies including Targa Tasmania with Samantha Stevens, and admitted to having to get use to the feeling of sliding around on the road again.

“It took me a little by surprise at first but it all came back to me!” she laughed.

After the final stage Dwyer and Ryan were just under 2 minutes (over both heats) ahead of second place getters and young guns, James Rodda and Marcus Piristi.

Team Manager Amanda Dwyer praised the service crew, saying: “Without these guys helping us, not only out here in the service park, but with all the preparation in the lead up to the rally, we just simply wouldn’t be here. Their knowledge and commitment is absolutely amazing.

“We’d also like to sincerely thank our sponsors and supporters, Brook from Racecam, Darryl from Tyrepower Blackwood and Kristian from Autobarn Mile End, all of whom contribute so generously to our team! We just couldn’t do it without them!”

The SA Rally Championship moves to the Mid North town of Robertstown for round 3 on the 14th of August.

Photo: Aaron Bentley

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