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Some of the fastest and exciting rally drivers Queensland have to offer converged on Yarraman last weekend to do battle for supremacy in the annual Northern Districts Sporting Car Club’s Classic Rally.

Not since 1998 has the club conducted this event and given the success and positive feedback from entrants, organisers and townsfolk alike, the event is well and truly back on the annual calendar.

Thirty cars and crews entered the event with 20 being deemed to have completed the entire course.  Straight out of the gate the pace was red hot with reigning Clubman Rally Champion Gary Stacey setting the pace.  But Stacey’s Datsun Sunny suffered mechanical failure in the third stage and was out of the rally.

The fast pace continued all day with times and the leaderboard chopping and changing at every stage.  Eventual winners were Craig Aggio and Therese Feldman in a Toyota Celica Group B replica.

Dave Ovenden and Cate Kelly took out an impressive second in the beautifully presented Mazda RX2, and former Australian Rally Champion Murray Coote, and Alan Stean, in a borrowed Datsun 240K GT finished off the podium positions in third.

Rally organiser, Adrian Dillon, carefully put together a course that had a bit of everything.  There were some very fast sections where some of the quicker cars would reach in excess of 150kph, but also threw in plenty of challenges to keep everyone honest and on their toes.  

Rod Bigger in a Datsun 180B SSS dry bogged his car in a table drain when he was leading the rally.  Like Stacey earlier in the day, he too sat on the side line to watch victory slip away with the dust.

Top ten finishers were:
1. Craig Aggio/Therese Feldman, Toyota Celica.  
2. Dave Ovenden/Cate Kelly, Mazda RX2.
3. Murray Coote/Alan Stean.
4. Jamie Lawson/Chris Munro, Toyota Celica GT4.
5. Criag Mole/Craig Smith, Datsun 1600.
6. Paul McCubben/Jim McDowell, Mazda RX2.
7. Shane Turner/Jason Murphy, Datsun 240K.
8. Chris Wedding/Michael Lasijczuk, Datsun 1600.
9. Tim Dillon/Andrew Dillon, Holden Gemini.
10. Glenn Mitchell/Bryan Zelinski, Ford Escort.

Rally organisers and the Northern Districts Sporting Car Club were ecstatic with the outcome of the rally and are already making plans for 2008.

Photos: Tony Hansford

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