Grave, Newman seal Buckby Subaru Challenge wins at Rally Tasmaina
Nic Grave and Ben Newman finished off their weekends at Subaru Rally Tasmania by each winning a heat of the Buckby Subaru RS Challenge.
The series, which runs at rounds of the Tasmanian Rally Championship (TRC), saw no fewer than 10 Subaru Impreza RSs take the start in Launceston on Friday night, in what is a cheap four-wheel drive one-make series.
The series is based on the 2001-2005 Subaru Impreza RS 2.5i and is a perfect entry-level form of rallying for those interested, with rules ensuring a safe and cost-effective form of motorsport.
With cars often selling for under $20,000, the cars are reliable and parts are accessible, making it a popular series on the Apple Isle.
2018 champion, and current series leader, Nic Grave, lead throughout the entirety of day one, with his striking looking RS regularly taking it up to the TRC leaders on stage times, and giving fans some great action.
The rally started on Friday evening with a short 800-metre blast around the Inveresk precinct before thousands of fans.
When the rally proper began on icy Saturday morning, Grave continued on his fine form, taking all stage wins to finish the heat just over a minute clear of his nearest RS rival, Ben Newman.
Such was Grave’s pace, he saw himself a fine third in the TRC – a significant feat for a non-turbo vehicle.
Daniel Traverso and experienced co-driver, Andy Sarandis, finished in third position, with Crichton Lewis fourth.
Sunday saw crews greeted with six special stages further north of Launceston, and the battle continued.
Although Nic Grave continued his great speed through the first stage of Sunday, it was Ben Newman who upped his pace to challenge and eventually overcome Grave for the heat two victory.
The pair traded stage victories early, before Newman stretched his lead on the 24km Lonestar Ridge test to break clear and take a 27 second lead on Saturday’s winner, Grave.
Grave ultimately lost time on SS16 and retired after an encounter with a huge rock, handing a comfortable lead to eventual winner, Newman.
This opened up the second place position on the podium, which was gladly snapped up by the impressive Traverso, with Lewis in third position.