Event Report: Jenolan Rallysprint
- 15th April 2010, 2:12pm
Of the 60 crews, 39 entrants ran in the Classic category. The favourite to take out to event was Bill Brown & Trent Murphy in a Datsun 1600, also expected to figure in the run to the finish would be last years 3rd place finisher Jim Middleton with new full time co-driver Kate Murphy sitting beside him in his Holden Commodore and also Jamie Waterhouse, a former championship winner in his mighty little Datsun 120Y with Tim Hammond calling the notes. Always spectacular to watch is Dave King, with Shane O’Hara sitting alongside, the pair were hoping not to repeat their bad luck from the last round.
After the first run over each of the three stages it was Brown/Murphy in front of Waterhouse/Hammond by 5seconds, with King/O’Hara in a Nissan Skyline a further 2seconds back in 3rd. The surprise package was Travis/Travis in a Datsun 1600, seeded 36, the pair were sitting in 4th Classic overall after 3 stages, only 3 seconds behind King/O’Hara and nearly 30seconds ahead of Middleton/Murphy in 5th.
By the end of the 2nd run through all of the stages, the fight for the lead had a casualty, with King/O’Hara suffering engine problems after setting a fastest stage time over Stage 4 (East 2), leaving Brown, Waterhouse & Travis to challenge for the top three positions with Brown amassing an 18second lead over Waterhouse after 6 stages.
At the end of the days 9 stages, it was Brown/Murphy who took out the Classic Category by 41seconds over Waterhouse/Hammond. 3rd place was won by David Hills/Paul Bennett in the awesome sounding BDA Escort 8 seconds behind 2nd Place, with Travis/Travis only 43seconds behind in 4th with an amazing drive moving up from their 36th place starting position.
In the highly competitive Modern Category it was a commanding drive from Michael & Chris Long in their Subaru Liberty, the pair only missing out on setting fastest time (for the Modern Category) twice out of the days 9 stages. The brothers were pushed hard all the way top the finish by Gerald Schofield & Jim White in their Mitsubishi Evo VI and Jamie Neale & Scott Fletcher in a Mitsubishi VR4, and not to be outdone Mark Callinan & Matt Wilson put in a solid drive in their mighty BMW.
After the first 3 stages it was Long/Long leading from Schofield/White by 9seconds with Callinan/Wilson a further 5seconds behind in 3rd. following the leading trio was a close fought battle, with only 1second separating Neale/Fletcher and Jason King/Lee Cross in a Turbocharged Datsun 1600 in 4th & 5th respectively.
After the next 3 stages the lead trio stayed the same, Long/Long lead Schofield/White by 25seconds, with Callinan/Wilson a further 23seconds behind. Neale/Fletcher took a charge for 3rd place, ending up only 1 second behind the BMW after 6 stages and pulling out a lead of 8seconds over King/Cross in 5th place.
But disaster struck for King & Cross with their car failing with only one stage to go, leaving Drew McPhee/Andrew Crowley in their Mitsubishi VR4 to capitalise and take a well deserved 5th place in the Modern Category after setting a steady pace throughout the whole day. The win eventually went to Michael & Chris Long, finishing 55seconds ahead of Schofield/White with Neale/Fletcher a further 4seconds behind winning their battle with Callinan/Wilson who finished 6seconds behind in 4th.
A huge congratulations to Rally Director Peter Batt for another successful running of this event with another full capacity field, also a very large thankyou to all of the officials, the road setup crews who worked hard to repair some of the roads on the Friday before the event and to the competitors that assisted with the stage pull down after the last cars went through on the Saturday, without your help this event would not be as successful as it is.
And finally, all competitors were warned at the drivers briefing that there was an Extreme Caution Hump on the stage called Ridge Rd. (run as stage 3,6 & 9). They were warned that this should be taken with extreme care as it had been nicknamed by the stage setup crews as “The Mineshaft of Jenolan” due to it’s resemblance to the famous “Mineshaft” in Canberra and a photographer would be there on the first run through to catch any one trying to push the limits of both their ability and the build strength of their vehicles.
Thanks to David Watson of Pitlane Photos (www.davidwatson.com.au), The winner for the most “Balls Out” driving has been awarded to Les & Megan Johnson in their Datsun 1600 for trying to launch themselves into orbit. To use as a gauge, the two other photos included in this release were taken on the same “Hump”. Well done Les, I hope you have a good chiropractor!
All Photos Courtesy of David Watson of Pitlane Photos www.davidwatson.com.au
1. Brown/Murphy Datsun 1600
2. Waterhouse/Hammond Datsun 120Y
3. Hills/Bennett Ford Escort BDA
4. A Travis/D Travis Datsun 1600
5. Stretton/Miller Mercedes Benz
A. Bermingham/Gorham Datsun Sunny
B. Price/Long Datsun Stanza
C. G Watman/B Watman Ford Escort
D. A Travis/D Travis Datsun 1600
E. Stretton/Miller Mercedes Benz
1. M Long/C Long Subaru Legacy
2. Schofield/White Mitsubishi Lancer EvoVI
3. Neale/Fletcher Mitsubishi VR4
4. Callinan/Wilson BMW
5. McPhee/Crowley Mitsubishi VR4
McPhee/Crowley Mitsubishi VR4
Modern 2WD (RWD)
Modern 2WD (FWD)
M Gallagher/J Gallagher Suzuki Baleno
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