The NSW Excel Rally Series is wide open after an eventful Myall Lakes Rally.

The event was run under interesting conditions, with lots of rain in the area in the weeks and months prior leaving the course slippery and greasy in spots. Being the only pace-noted round of the NSW Excel Series, the crews had a chance to examine the course before competition.  

The early start on Sunday morning saw the tussle start early between the crews of Horobin/Taylor and McShane/Geering. But trouble struck early for Horobin and stand-in navigator Taylor as they struck a rock in a dry creek bed at the end of SS2, damaging a rim and the driver's side lower control arm.  

Again, the battle was tight at the front after the first service, with the following three stages having Horobin and McShane trading times at the front of the field, with McShane requiring attention after at the mid-event service with a snapped rear trailing arm.  

But the front of the field was left decimated late in the event with both Horobin and McShane both going out with suspension related dramas. McShane's car retired with rear suspension damaged from a hit in stage, whilst the already damaged lower control arm on Horobin's Hyundai finally gave way and snapped at the end of SS8.  

This left series newcomers Kris and Bruce Hampel in a prime position, taking their newly acquired ex-works Excel to the round victory, followed by the ever-consistent crew of Artomonov and Bonch for second place.

This means that heading into the next round, Artomonov maintains a series lead ahead of Horobin, Hampel and McShane.   The next event for the series will be the Peter Rogers Bathurst Rally on Saturday, September 24.

It's guaranteed to be a tough event, and toughly contested by the Excel crews vying for this year's title.  

Pointscore as at 16/08/2011

Andrei Artomonov    34
Fro Horobin        23
Kris Hampel        22
Ryan McShane    19
Bob Slattery      1

Gleb Bonch        34
Andrew Crowley    22
Bruce Hampel    22
Daniel Geering    19
Michael Taylor    1
Kate Murphy       1

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