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The two car SAABCARE Motorsport team showed their form at the recent Philcomm Rally Jimna. The two crews, Kent Lawrence, co-driven by Steve Andrews, and Mike Bailey, co-driven by brother Matt, finished second and third outright respectively after nearly 120 km of competition on some of the most technically demanding stages that the Queensland Rally Championship has seen for a while.

It was Lawrence and Andrews however who finished with the upper hand in second place, 30 seconds behind the event winner Matt Van Tuinen and 3 minutes 46 seconds ahead of team mates Mike and Matt Bailey in third place.

After a steady start on Saturday's two opening stages, Lawrence found his confidence with the car on Sunday and started to close the gap on first place. This being only his second outing in the ex-GSA EvoVI, it was always going to be challenging. Swapping times with eventual winner Mat Van Tuinen throughout the day, Lawrence set four fastest stage times and equalled Van Tuinen on the longest stage of the rally.

Mike Bailey was also settling into his new car, this also being only his second outing in the ex-Ralliart Evo IV. Mike put in a consistent performance as he too got more familiar with the car, recording second fastest on the first stage of day two and third fastest on all but two stages.

On account of the fact that Matt Van Tuinen's co-driver Dan Willson is not championship registered, co-drivers Steve Andrews and Matt Bailey finished first and second respectively in the QRC standings, whilst drivers Kent Lawrence and Mike Bailey took second and third.

After the event Steve Andrews acknowledged the hard work and support that had made their result possible. "Once again we are indebted to our team, to come to Jimna and achieve this result has taken a serious amount of dedication and hard work from everyone involved including our service and support crew and our team sponsors SAABCARE, BP Ultimate, Task Recruitment, J&L Haulage, Sew Professional, Stickers Direct, and Nu Spring water.

"I would like to express particular thanks to our team manager, Ross Perry, and our technical manager, Paul Andrews, for their hard work in the week leading up to this event. To re-fit one gearbox before the event is a big enough task but to have to do it to both cars required a big effort."

The team are in a strong championship position for the remaining two rounds of the QRC, November’s Cooloola Rally followed by the traditional season finale at Gallangowan in December.

Images courtesy of MARSTA Motorsport Photography    www.marsta.com


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