Hunter in outright contention
- 15th September 2006, 10:35am
The Brisbane-based crew headed to Kilcoy and Gallangowan last weekend (September 9) for the Round Five of the state series, the Goodyear Auto Service Centre Classic Rally. The 300km, 10-stage day-night event attracted a field of 43 entrants, with Hunter Racing seeded ninth.
At the end of the event, they were fourth outright, and first in class, the points haul pushing them into third outright in the series points tally.
"It was great to come in as one of the top cars," says Colin Hunter, who is using a former off-road racing Jeep Wrangler converted to P6 4WD rally car spec for the Queensland series. "There were only four seconds between us and the crew who finished ahead of us. We were given a five-second time penalty after arriving late into control because of a minor mechanical problem, so things were very, very close.
"We were down on a bit of power and top-end speed but aside from that and the handbrake issue, the car ran faultlessly, and the team did a great job - as usual."
The event was run in near-perfect conditions. The weather was warm and there was much less dust than the crews were expecting.
"The roads were good. There were some rough patches but they were harder on the smaller cars. We really didn't even notice them in the Jeep," Hunter says.
The event was won by Glenn Brinkman and Steven Richardson (1996 Subaru WRX) with Bernhard Graf/Cameron Thompson second (1998 Mitsubishi Evo 5) and Ian Ogilvie/Tony Best third in a 1973 Datsun 1200. A technical protest has been lodged against Brinkman/Richardson which, if satisfied, would elevate Hunter Racing to third outright.
Strong results have become the norm for the team which has already posted class wins in three rounds of the 2006 Australian Off-Road Championship series (Hyden, WA; Finke, NT; Millicent, SA) and in all five rounds of the Queensland rally series, including Coates Rally Queensland which was also a round of the Australian Rally Championship.
Colin Hunter would like to thank his team for their excellent car preparation and on-event back-up as well as ongoing support from Goodyear, Modena Engineering and Chrysler Jeep. He would also like to thank Australian Rally Championship co-driver, Margot Knowles, for stepping into the navigator's seat last weekend. Knowles has previously co-driven for Hunter in the Australian Safari.
The team's hectic 2006 schedule continues with the final round of the off-road series (October 14-15) while the last event of the year will be the 'grand final' of the Queensland Rally Championship series on November 4.
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