Heartbreak for Monkhouse in Scouts Rally SA
- 28th July 2012, 8:18pm
Monkhouse failed to finish day one of the rally yesterday due to suspension failure in the Nissan Silvia S15 but bounced back today to grab the early lead extending his advantage over the course of the day to have a 13.8 second lead on the works Honda Jazz of Eli Evans in second with two stages remaining.
However Monkhouse broke the steering on his Nissan on the penultimate stage of the day putting him out within sight of the finish for the second day in a row. Monkhouse withheld pressure from the two Evans brothers after fixing the Nissan’s broken suspension on Friday night with parts borrowed form a fellow competitor and said it was a challenging day only to have the car fail again late on day two handing the win to Eli Evans in the Honda
The new works Mazda2 of Simon Evans continued its impressive Australian Championship debut having an intense fight for second with his younger sibling, finishing the day just 14.7 seconds behind his brother’s Honda.
The second works Honda Jazz of Mark Pedder was another 3mins 40 seconds back in in third place in the Two Wheel drive battle.
“It was a bit of the unknown having different shocks and springs in the rear,” Monkhouse said.
“It made thinks a bit unpredictable but the car felt good through the shire stages but the forest stages were a bit rough. We’re extremely grateful to Allan Roe for the loan of his only spare shock absorber but now the steering has broken I don’t know whether we will be able to fix it in time for the final day’s stages.” he added.
Bosch Two Wheel Drive Championship leader Eli Evans said he was driving as fast as he could and was on the attack to close the gap on Monkhouse before his rival was forced out.
“It was unfortunate because we were really enjoying the close battle with Jack and I reckon we could have caught him on the final two stages this afternoon,” said Eli Evans.
“It is also really good to be in front of my brother, he has won four Australian Championships so to be beating him is pretty pleasing but there is still a long way to go on the final day,” he added.
Meanwhile in the Bosch Four Wheel Drive ARC, New South Wales driver Michael Boaden has continued his charge to win back to back rounds in his Mitsubishi Evo 9 and extend his lead in the Championship.
Boaden took the lead on the early stages of the day and a perfect run through over the super fast shire roads saw him take a clear lead, allowing him to cruise through the last two stages with ease.
“We didn’t want to push too hard too early,” Boaden commented.
“We had a really good run through the shire stages – they really suited the car and my driving style.
“Having a nice buffer for the final stages meant we didn’t have to push hard and were able to keep level headed. Hopefully we can do it all again tomorrow!”
Behind Boaden the battle for second saw young Western Australian Mitsubishi Evo drivers Nic Box and Tom Wilde fighting hard throughout the day with Box finishing the day in second 50.4 seconds behind Boaden.
Wilde struggled with his car’s handling late in the day and was forced out on the last stage of the day with what is believe to be a mechanical problem handing third place to a hard chasing Steve Shepheard in his Evo 10 Lancer who finished 1 min 35secs behind Box.
Young Victorian driver Nathan Berry and co-driver Rian Calder were fortunate to walk away from an horrific crash at the end of a wild 160km/h slide after his Mitsubishi Evo VI landed on wet grass following a jump over a crest. Berry lost his steering and brakes after hitting a culvert before sliding out of control hitting a tree and crashing into a farm shed and totalling the car and the shed in the process.
Berry was upset at his plight but is now planning to build a new generation two wheel drive rally car to replace the old Mitsubishi and said the crash was part of the risks of the sport while praising the mandatory safety equipment that prevented injury for he and his co-driver.
Neal Bates has had another day of dominance in the Classic Rally class taking his Toyota Celica RA40 to a healthy 2min 34 second lead over the V8 Holden of Barry Lowe with the Datsun 180B of Neville Whittenbury a further 2mins 17 seconds behind in third.
Competitors face another five stages tomorrow in the Kuitpo before returning to Edwards Park in the Adelaide Parklands for a podium finish at 2pm.
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