Excel-lent rally for Hyundais
- 15th May 2008, 11:56am
With Excels now becoming a standard feature of the Victorian Rally Championship, the second round of the Rally Drive Victorian Excel Rally Series saw eight cars start and eight complete the gruelling day and night event. What was even more remarkable is the diversity of entries in the Excel series, with some risings stars mixing it with some of the more mature members seeking to get that rallying thrill.
Excels made up nearly a quarter of the forty strong field and with all finishing, the little Hyundais demonstrated beyond doubt that they are a tough little contender. Lack of power from the factory standard drive trains on the long uphill sections was more than made up by hard chargers like Batten and Allen when, in one night stage, Batten managed a third fastest outright time! While there have been the knockers as the Series became established, those who are now using the cars as their first foray into rallying are more than happy with the vehicles and their relatively low operating and building costs.
This event saw Excels clustered together at the service park with crews sharing yarns about the rally and enjoying coffee while service crews sat around idly as the cars needed only their lights added, due to nothing breaking or needing fixing.
The East Gippsland Stages saw a battle between the first placed Allen team and Batten and Wright, with the rest of the field of Excels some places further back. Save for a mistake while booking in for the service park which cost Batten a minute penalty, the end result would have only seen a three second difference in favour of Allen who placed a very respectable tenth outright.
Some teams are now preparing to head over to Tasmania to participate in the Hellyer Rally in Burnie in support of the start of the Excel Series in that State, after which we may even see a ten car field participating in this year's George Derrick Memorial Rally.
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