The 2008 Australian Rally Championship season has ended on a sour note for Micael Guest and the Pirtek LWR rally team.

Competing in the final round of the ARC at Coffs Harbour on the New South Wales north coast, Guest and co-driver, David Green, have retireed from the second heat after just the first stage.

Having finished the first day of the Coffs Coast Rally in an encouraging sixth place in their Subaru Impreza WRX STI, a gearbox problem materialised on just the very first stage of day two, and Guest took the option of retiring from the rally.

“The gearbox got stuck in second gear about two kilometres into the stage, and that was it,” Guest said.

“I was looking forward to today, but it simply wasn’t to be. I made the decision to park the car, rather than rejoining the rally in last place and risking doing further damage.”

“The problem was a simple five cent ball bearing in the shifter mechanism of the gearbox,” a disappointed team owner, Les Walkden, said.

“While we could have changed the gearbox and got the car back out there, Michael made the decision to withdraw from the rally.

“It’s a really disappointing way to end what has been a frustrating season for the team,” Walkden added.

The 2009 Australian Rally Championship begins in February with the all-tarmac Rally Tasmania.

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