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The Sprint Auto Parts Rally of South Australia has proven a fitting finale for the partnership between Ryan and Rebecca Smart and the support they have received from Bruce Fullerton and his company Fullerton Financial Services.

In Heat 1, the Smart’s finished an excellent 5th outright with the second Fullerton Financial Services car of Bruce Fullerton and Hugh Reardon-Smith finishing 9th outright. Heat 2 was more challenging, with the Smart’s nursing a sick engine to the finish in 8th outright and the second car retiring with suspension damage.

This has left Ryan and Rebecca Smart in 7th outright in the 2009 Australian Rally Championship, but more importantly winners of the 2009 Privateers Championship – a great result and the aim for the season.

Ryan Smart thanked Bruce for his efforts that have seen the Smart’s rack up a series of successes over the last two years. “Bruce has been a great coach and supporter over the last 2 seasons as I have learnt the art of rally driving.”

As Bruce explained.  “In 2007 Ryan caught my eye with the results he was achieving in his Datsun, especially at Gallangowan that year, and I felt I could help him move into a 4WD Turbo car.”

“I provided my spare Mitsubishi Evo 6 and helped him prepare it for the 2008 Queensland Rally Championship.  The main goal was to learn the car and concentrate on the Queensland Championship, as well as competing in a couple of ARC level events. In the end, it did go according to plan, with Ryan and Rebecca Smart winning the 2008 Queensland Championship, but there were a few of those learning moments along the way !”

“For 2009 the plan was to stick with pace noted events and move into more ARC events. Ryan and Rebecca had great results in both the WA and QLD events, finishing inside the top 5 – a great effort in an old Evo 6. This left the team in 7th outright in the ARC and leading the Privateers Challenge going into the final round in SA. And now their results from SA have left them winners of the Privateers Championship – a fantastic achievment”

The situation has now been reached where the Smarts need someone else to pick up the mantle and support them in their quest to reach the top in Australian rallying.

Bruce explained.  “I and my company, Fullerton Financial Services, cannot provide the level of support that Ryan and Rebecca now need to progress.  The global financial crisis has had an effect on my business, and after 2 years of helping the Smart’s get the results they have achieved, it’s time for someone else to step in.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed assisting them over the last 2 seasons, and thank the members of the Full-On Rallysport team for providing help with their servicing and coaching, and wish Ryan and Rebecca every success in their career going forward.”

Fullerton Financial Services will revert to supporting just Bruce’s car for the 2010 season.

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