After suffering the frustration of a niggling brake issue on Wednesday’s Victoria Park prologue, the Team Racetune Escort enjoyed a fast and troublefree run through the Northern Adelaide Hills on Leg 1 of the 2006 Classic Adelaide Rally.

“Brakes are good now,” said driver Reg Marratt at the Gumeracha morning tea break after the first two competitive stages.  “We weren’t pushing too hard early and I was a bit worried about messing up the hairpin on Upper Hermitage (SS1).

“Now that I’m happy with the brakes we can really have a go.  I can’t believe how quick it is!”

The crew were all smiles after the next two stages following the lunch break as they found more pace in the Mk 1 Escort.

“We had a bit of a moment on ‘Flamenco’ with a load of oil from an earlier car,” explained co-driver Matthew Woods, referring to the Porsche 944 of Dean Goess and Wayne Klar which had retired moments earlier on SS4.

SS5, Checker Hill, was another good stage for the Team Racetune Escort with the crew reporting the speed display on the tripmeter showing 199km/h as they crossed the finish line.  This resulted in a time equal to or better than the base time set for the stage and is known as “cleaning” the stage.

“That’s motoring!  199km/h over the line!” enthused Reg at the time control after SS5.  “It’s only day 1 though – early days yet.”

A steady run through the remaining two stages saw the crew complete the day in 7th place in Classic Competition section and 1st in their class (4MSB).

The crews head south towards Victor Harbor for Leg 2 of the rally on Friday before returning to the Gouger Street Party in the evening where the cars will be on display for the public.     

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