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Veteran competitors Brian and Lyn Dermott had a disappointing end to the recent Classic Adelaide Rally when their Austin Healey dropped a valve on the second day of the event.

On the final event for the car, Dermot admits that “the dream finish was not to be”.

“On day 2, high above Myponga Reservoir, our journey through the last fast downhill corner was interrupted by an ominous misfire - a dropped valve,” Brian says.

After two Targas, two and a bit Classic Adelaides and the three hot Mt Buller Sprints (plus a 5000km tour of Europe) on this engine, we can't really complain, although a pre-event engine freshen now looks like it would have been good value.

“We were about 15th in Classic when we fell out, so the Healey's 10 year tarmac rally career came to an end.”

Despite the Dermott’s misfortune, the Healey honour was superbly upheld by Paul and Christine Freestone who went on to come third in Classic and third in Heritage, claiming a podium in Adelaide for the second year running.

“It is not generally realised just how quick Paul is and he certainly doesn't get much recognition for these amazing performances,” Brian adds. “His outright times compared to modern cars with top drivers are truly astonishing. Is this the fastest any Healey has ever been driven in rally history - faster than Abeccassis on the Mille Miglia, faster than Morley on the Stelvio,  faster than Makinen on the RAC?”

Dermott reckons so!

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