Driving their Busselton Subaru Service Impreza, Leigh Hynes and co-driver Stuart Percival collected enough points in a tough Light Car Club Safari Rally to win the 2008 Western Australian Rally Championship.

Held in the rugged and demanding Mundaring forest, the Safari kept its reputation as one of the most exciting events on the WA rally calender. A high attrition rate saw the leading group change several times, with most crews either spending some time off the road or changing flat tyres.

With Hynes and Percival only needing a top six result to take the title, they set a very conservative pace to finish in fourth outright, despite losing over ten minutes in the last two stages with a broken wheel and then running in thick dust behind a slower car.

The event was won by Alex Stone and Dianne Madlener in their Subaru Impreza, from the Mitsubishi crew of John Macara and Greg Flood, followed by another Impreza, driven by Graeme Miles and Tara Gulvin.

Hynes was only 15 seconds further back, ahead of Craig Wimbridge and Doug Tostevin in fifth.

“What a way to end the season,” Hynes said. “That was one of the most exhausting and stressful rallies I’ve done. We were sitting very comfortable in second with only two stages to go and then, before you know it, we were struggling to stay in the top six. A harsh reminder of how unpredictable our sport can be.

“But we did it; Stuart and the guys on the crew have done a top job all year and without a great team like that behind me, it wouldn’t have happened. I’m very pleased to win and also very grateful to everyone that played a part in our success.

“I would like to say a special thank you to Jamie from DMS Shock Absorbers, Frank from Modena Engineering, and Lane and Dave from Race Torque for their assistance during the year.”

The 2009 WA Rally Championship begins with the Forest Rally at Busselton in April.

Full results and points are available at www.duetime.com.au

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