Leigh Hynes has won round three of the WA Rally Championship (WARC), the inaugural Newmont Boddington Gold Rally on the weekend, after an epic showdown.

Hynes pushed his Subaru WRX to the limit to claim the win by eight seconds from Nicholas Box, who was behind the wheel of his Mitsubishi Evo IV, a car he last competed in two years ago.

Box, whose appearance at the rally was a one-off (he’s still trying to recover from the financial strife of two years on the Australian Rally Championship circuit), said it had been 10 years since he’s been in a rally battle that ‘intense’.

He applauded Hynes’ skill and determination on the gravel stages that were previously used when WA hosted Rally Australia.

“Leigh really stepped it up for the last half of the second day. He deserved the win,” Box said.

Box had been leading the rally on day two. He lost time when his car left the road twice late in the day and that’s when Hynes pounced.

“The reason he won was because he was prepared to take the massive risks,” Box said.

Hynes explained his car was travelling so fast on the final stages that it felt like it was ‘floating’.

“It’s the most amazing feeling. You’re pushing your car, your mind and your co-driver,” he said.

Brad Markovic, who’s first two rallies of the season were marred by mechanical issues finished third in the Newmont Boddington Gold Rally and Rob Webber was fourth.

Dylan King, who had been on top of the points table, withdrew from the event early on after rolling his WRX.

In the 2WD Championship, Sean Keating was unmatched in his Nissan Silvia. He finished more than 80 seconds clear of his nearest rival Geoff Leatt-Hayter (Ford Escort) and took his third win of the season.

Reigning Clubman Cup champion Mark Travers, who entered the Outright section of the event for the ‘extra kilometres’, was the third fastest 2WD, that was despite rolling his Toyota Sprinter.

Travers said the damage to the car wasn’t bad, but he would mostly likely miss the next two WARC rounds and take the time to make improvements to the car.

In the Clubman Cup Championship, Greg Flood in a Mitsubishi Lancer Coupe had his first win for the season while Carl Rattenbury’s Ford Escort was second for the third time this year.

Rookies Shane Harmer and Andrew Percival were third and fourth respectively.

Rally organiser Wendy Walker said the event was well enjoyed by hundreds of spectators who flocked to see competitors fly over the world-famous Boddington jumps and through the water splash.

She praised the support of Newmont Boddington Gold, the Shire of Boddington and Simon’s Marketplace.

Round four of the WARC is less than four weeks away. The Experts Cup Rally will be run around Collie and the Wellington Dam on Saturday, June 28.

Photo: Tim Allott

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