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Simon Evans was put in the fastest time in shakedown for this weekend's Rally of Melboune, marginally faster than team-mate Neal Bates, and the Subaru of Brendan Reeves.

Darren Windus was fourth for Ford, but his team-mate, Michael Guest, ground to a halt with transmission problems in his Fiesta. In a change of fortune, it was Guest to suffer the bad luck, rather than Windus.

Glen Raymond was fifth in his private Subaru, ahead of Victorian Champion Justin Dowel in a Mitsubishi, Paul Batten in a Subaru, motoring journo Paul Gover in Toyota's test Corolla, and the Mitsubishi of Brenton Kaitler.

Molly Taylor was the fastest two-wheel drive car in her rebuilt Mitsubishi Mirage, after her rol in the Great Lakes Rally in September.

Shakedown Lap Times
1. Simon Evans (Toyota Corolla Sportivo) 0:53.9
2. Neal Bates (Toyota Corolla Super 2000) 0:54.0
3. Brendan Reeves (Subaru Impreza WRX) 0:54.1
4. Darren Windus (Ford Fiesta Super 2000) 0:55.0
5. Glen Raymond (Subaru Impreza WRX) 0:55.3
6. Justin Dowel (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) 0:56.8
7. Paul Batten (Subaru Impreza WRX) 0:57.7
8. Paul Gover (Toyota Corolla Sportivo) 0:58.3
9. Brenton Kaitler (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) 0:58.4
10. Molly Taylor (Mitsubishi Mirage Cyborg) 01:01.9

Photo: John Doutch

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