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Leigh Hynes has won round three of the WA Rally Championship (WARC), the Experts Cup Rally, for the third year in a row.

The Busselton-based Subaru WRX driver finished more than two minutes clear of his nearest rival and the big win has lifted him to top spot on the leader board.

Hynes and co-driver Stuart Percival, who are gunning for their third WARC titles in six years, had a dream run in the event that covered almost 160 competitive kilometres around the Collie forests and Wellington Dam.

“Everything was perfect,” Hynes said. “We went 100 per cent for first three stages, then just tried to keep a controlled pace from there.”

In the end, Hynes claimed seven out of nine fastest stage times. The other two went to Dylan King also competing in a WRX.

King, who had been leading the championship, explained his rally was full of drama: “We broke a rear drive shaft on the start of stage one… then on stage two, the rear diff decided to break so it was just front-wheel-drive from there but the car was struggling to drive.”

The 18 year old praised his service crew for their repairs to his car. King tried to make up for lost time, but overall he was only able to manage ninth place.

Second in the Experts Cup Rally was Steven Davies who put in some competitive stage times. Dean Herridge, who was a last minute fill in for an injured Brad Markovic, finished third. Both competed in WRXs.

Herridge, who hadn’t competed on gravel since 2009 and hadn’t driven on a night stage since 2007, said he may have been able to nab second position had his co-driver James Marquet not have gotten car sick on the final stages.

“Fair play he hung in there and we were able to finish,” Herridge said adding that not many notes were being called.

In the two wheel drive competition, Razvan Vlad finished first in his Ford Fiesta.

He said he was pleased with new improvement to his car’s differential settings that allowed him to set faster times than previous years, even though he lost second gear early on.

Kiel Douglas finished second in his Holden Commodore and said the event was a challenge: “We lost power steering on the second corner of the first stage and did the whole rally without. It was bloody hard work.”

Vlad has reclaimed the 2WD championship lead from Sean Keating whose Nissan Silvia suffered gearbox woes on the first stage of the Experts Cup. Keating was forced to retire so he didn’t do further damage.

Meanwhile Keating’s father Peter competed in his first rally in the Clubman Series and was pleased to have finished the event albeit in last place.

Winner of the Clubman Cup, which was run over nearly 85 competitive kilometres, was Trevor Chudleigh in a Toyota Sprinter. He finished three minutes ahead of Jason Lowther in a Toyota Corolla. Carl Rattenbury was third, by just four seconds, in a Ford Escort.

Clubman Cup Series leader Steve Vass finished fourth after his Datsun 1600 developed engine dramas while Daniel Adams, who had been in second place, dropped to fifth when his Corolla’s radiator was damaged.

The next WARC event is the LRT Lewana Stages near Balingup on Saturday July 27.

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