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Busselton-based Subaru driver Leigh Hynes has made it two in a row after winning the Experts Cup Rally at the weekend.

Clear skies over Collie provided perfect rallying conditions for the third round of the 2012 WA Rally Championship which was run over 113 competitive kilometres.

It was a hard-fought event for Hynes and co-driver Stuart Percival in their bright orange WRX. They battled brake issues and a broken rear drive shaft to come from second place and take the win.

“At each service we were working to the last second,” Hynes said.

Leading the Experts Cup Rally for most of the event had been WA Rally Championship leader Alex Stone but he dropped almost two minutes when his WRX blew a turbo on the second last stage.

Hynes said he was confident he could have stolen the lead without Stone’s mechanical problem. He’d worked relentlessly to narrow the margin between them and had it down to just one second.
Stone finished fourth overall but remains on top of the WA Rally Championship leader board.

He’s on 94 points while Hynes, who’s now second after the weekend’s success and a win in the previous round (the Trade Hire Donnelly Rally) has 80.

Also impressive in the pine plantations around Collie was Travis White (pictured) and co-driver Greg Flood in a Mitsubishi Lancer. The pair was seeded 12th but finished second outright.

The Experts Cup Rally was their first event for the year and White said: “We just thought we’d go out and see what we could do.”

What ensued was a battle with Doug Tostevin who competed in a WRX.

White went into the last stage one second behind Tostevin but finished the event six seconds ahead.
He said he was thrilled with the result and planned to compete in the next WARC event.

In the two-wheel drive competition the fastest three drivers all competed in Ford Escorts.

Blair Pugh had his first win for the 2012 WA Rally Championship season and was 12 seconds ahead of nearest rival Dylan King who’s the two-wheel drive championship leader. David Thomas, who hadn’t competed in a rally since 2009, was remarkable in his comeback event finishing third.

In the Clubman rally (run over a shorter distance of 73 competitive kilometres) Matt Snaddon made it three in a row in his green Toyota Corolla.

The fourth round of the WA Rally Championship is the LRT Lewana Stages on July 28.

Photo: Brian Percival

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