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The Mountain Motorsports’ Great Tarmac Rally was run over a 160 kilometre competitive course on the weekend of August 11-12 around the Gippsland region in Victoria. The rally attracted a quality field of both two wheel drive and four wheel drive cars including Fords, Nissans, Mitsubishis and Subarus.

Crews assembled at Lilydale lake to be waved off ready to tackle some great tarmac roads starting with the famous Reefton Spur which was nearly 20km of fast flowing switch back corners and short straights that had some slippery areas due to recent snow!

Coming out of the blocks hard was Clinton Arentz and Peter Burrey, driving an Evo. They took the stage win comfortably and looked ready to start the second stage, Cambarville. Although only a short 6km section, it was a real rally drivers stage where commitment to pace notes would make a real difference. This again showed with the Arentz/Burrey crew, winning the stage to pull out more of a gap on their competitors.

The Subaru Liberty of Brock Willson and Chris Arnold struck mechanical trouble on this stage so had to withdraw from the rally but will return for the next event in November.

The next group of stages where held on the Eildon/Jamieson Road, the Eildon stage running to Big River. At 27km it was a test of car and crew. This section would see a huge battle for the top three positions. Charging hard from a slower start to the event were Paul Dowie and Nicole Bryan in an Evo, as well as  Danny Traverso and Tim Kulhunek also driving an Evo. These crews drove the stage very well to take the challenge up to Arentz/Burrey.

On the reverse stage, Big River, the crew of Dowie/Bryan blitzed the field to win the stage by ten seconds. The afternoon was a repeat of the Eildon and Big River stages so crews were able to get a real gauge of their speed by covering the same piece of road a number of times which was enjoyed by competitors as it can help with being able to make changes to the car set up and help crews to learn more about pace notes.

Shining during the afternoon group of stages were Tim Hendy and Jo Sibley driving a Skyline, who were in the top three, which was good to see. No doubt this crew will be one to watch in their next event.

Sunday morning saw crews again tackle the Eildon and Big River stages. The crew to beat were now Dowie/Bryan, who had their Evo flying, closely followed by Traverso/Kulhunek and Arentz/Burrey.

At the end of the weekend the competitors drove to the finish at Winton Raceway where the presentations were held at the Festival of Speed event.

After a tough start, Tim Hendy and Jo Sibley came home fourth outright and first in class (4WD over 3500cc). Finishing third outright were Clinton Arentz and Peter Burrey, second was Danny Traverso and Tim Kulhunek and taking the outright and 4WD under 3500cc class win was Paul Dowie and Nicole Bryan.

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