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Leigh Hynes has jumped from fourth to second on the WA Rally Championship (WARC) points table after winning the Trade Hire Donnelly Rally.

The event was contested over 150 kilometres of fast roads around the Donnelly Mill near Bridgetown on Saturday.

Busselton-based Hynes was fastest over the first six stages in his Subaru WRX but he said the event was ‘hard work’ for him and his team from the get go after they made the wrong tyre choice.

“We weent on old hard compact tyres and that was mistake. We couldn’t get a rhythm,” Hynes said.

Other challenges for Hynes included a blown shock absorber which caused an on-board fire and gear selecting issues which were a hangover from the opening round of the WARC, the Quit Forest Rally in April.

“We just didn’t have time to fix the gearbox before the event,” Hynes said.

Young gun Dylan King, who is competing in the Outright competition for the first time this year, finished second in the event. He was second fastest on the first six stages and, on stage seven, scored the equal fastest time with Hynes.

King then went on to claim the final two stages of the event and, in the end, less than a minute split the pair. But King’s rally wasn’t without its problems as his WRX suffered a broken driveshaft early in the event.

King remains on top of the WARC leader board with 68 points. Hynes has 60 and John O’Dowd, who finished third Outright on Saturday, is third with 52 points.

Sean Keating dominated the two-wheel-drive competition of the Trade Hire Donnelly Rally. He was fastest on all but one stage in his Nissan Silvia and finished more than three minutes clear of nearest 2WD rival Razvan Vlad in a Ford Fiesta. Keating said everything went to plan in the event apart from one ‘scary moment’ when he clipped a tree in front of spectators on stage two.

Keating has moved to the top of the 2WD points table ahead of Vlad who conceded he didn’t drive well enough on the first few stages of the event. Vlad’s car also had gearbox problems and suffered cosmetic damage in a high speed mishap.

In the Clubman event, run over 100km, Steve Vass in a Datsun 1600 was 20 seconds clear of nearest rival Carl Rattenbury in a Ford Escort. The pair went head to head on most of the stages.

The next round of the WARC is the Experts Cup in Collie on June 22.

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