Fullerton enjoys ARC return in South Australia
- 16th August 2011, 11:34am
This was the first pacenoted event for the team of Bruce Fullerton and Hugh Reardon-Smith since Rally Victoria last November, so a half day of testing was well worthwhile to check the car and make some suspension adjustments.
The entry list for the ARC section saw 31 cars line up for the start of Heat 1, one of the largest fields for many events. The team started carefully but soon settled into increasing pace as confidence increased, although this confidence was being dented by an intermittent electrical misfire, especially when it occurred during a corner, causing a few anxious moments.
The service crew of Richard Harris and Dennis Neagle worked hard at the mid day service to rectify the fault, and managed to reduce it. As the afternoon stages continued, the team continued to increase pace and went into the final stage just 1.6 seconds ahead of friends and fellow Queenslanders Simon and Margot Knowles in the Speedie Contractors Corolla Sportiva.
A strong commitment in the stage saw the Fullerton Financial Services Evo 6 finish the heat 8.3 seconds ahead of the Knowles as 11th ARC registered crew.
Heat 2 started with the Full-On Rallysport and Knowles crews trading stage times again and running within just 3 seconds of each other all day. However, in the penultimate stage the temperature gauge in the Evo 6 shot up and radiator water began to disappear. At the final service the head gasket was suspected, so with fingers crossed and water carried to top up before the stage, the crew set off for the final 32km Tweeden stage.
To add spice to this, the Knowles were now 0.3 seconds in front of the Fullerton Financial Services Evo 6. This was just the motivation needed. The temperature gauge again went up but Bruce Fullerton committed to the pace notes and drove a brilliant stage to comfortably secure 10th ARC registered crew for Heat 2.
The car is now back in Brisbane being prepared for the next event, the Coffs Coast Forest Rally, being run in conjunction with the WRC event in early September. The engine issue has been confirmed as a head gasket and with the necessary repairs the team are looking forward to the Coffs event.
“We thoroughly enjoyed the stages last year,” said Bruce, “and came away with a good result. However, most of the stages for this year’s event are new so it will be back to writing new pacenotes.”
The Full-On Rallysport team are looking for a strong result at the Coffs Forest Rally, before finishing the season contesting Rally Victoria again in November.
Photo: John Doutch
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