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2007 series leader Glenn Farrant and Anna Ritson continued their dominance of the 2007 ‘one-make’ Race Brakes NSW Hyundai Excel Rally Series in the GK Denney Tyres Coffs Coast Rally held on Saturday, August 18.  Farrant was followed home by Dave Roberts and Matt Mead and the Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA)-entered crew of Mick Gillett and Harvey Smith, who brought their Hyundai Accent home in third position.

The HMCA crew of Gillett and Smith had a trouble free run in the Accent with only dust on Special Stage 9 slowing the team to a crawl on some corners.  “Going by the rain today, I think the rally was probably a week too early,” said HMCA driver, Mick Gillett.  “We didn’t have the pace to match the two cars out in front, but we were almost 40 seconds quicker down stage 4, Sherwood Forest Road, than our time in 2006 and then faster again on the re-run stage 10 in the dark."

The team’s service crew was also kept busy, not only servicing the factory Accent, but looking after the Farrant Excel.  Farrant's Motorsport Bits-sponsored Excel was having both brake and shock absorber problems, while Gillett's Accent needed a drive shaft replaced at the third service.  “These drive shafts have done 17 rallies,” said team manager Jack Haycroft, “ and while they haven’t failed you, can hear and feel that they have a bit of play in the joints, we’ll replace them as a precaution.”

Hyundai continue to look at motorsport as an avenue for brand building and apprentice training. The Accent rally car features in marketing communications for Hyundai Genuine Parts. “The cars have proven to be reliable. They are strong, resilient and you just drive them flat out over the roughest road conditions," Gillett added.

While in Coffs, the team was supported at the rally by Coffs Harbour Hyundai.  “Warren Skinner and his team at Coffs Harbour Hyundai support the rally team every year we have come to Coffs,” said Gillett.  “Warren even lent us one of his valued service staff for the rally.”  Coffs Harbour Hyundai apprentice Andrew Guthrie was kept busy with the team and really enjoyed his rally experience.

Coffs Harbour and District Sporting Car Club put on a fantastic, well organised rally. The organising committee and all the officials did a great job making the event enjoyable for competitors, crews and spectators.  The rally start at Pacific Bay Resort, with a special stage around the resort's golf course, really took the sport to the spectators.  Crews also enjoyed two runs down Sherwood Forest Road, one of the best rally roads in the state that has a mix of fast flowing and tight twisty roads.  

The Hyundai Team even lent the rally some of their usual service crew to help official at the rally.  Expectant mothers Heather Smith and Jess Farrant officialled at a road closure during the rally.



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