Irelands steer Dodge to Adelaide Rally win
John and Jane Ireland have won the 2019 Shannons Adelaide Rally after continuing their brilliant form throughout the second half of the event.
The Dodge Viper duo ended the four-day rally with a 50 second advantage over the closest crew, having doubled their lead from the midway point after finishing every stage in the top five over the final two days.
The battle for the Modern Competition’s second place honours proved entertaining throughout the event as 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX drivers Ben Newman and Andy Sarandis edged out day one leaders Trevor Macleod, Scott Hunter and the 2009 Nissan GTR by nine seconds.
CAMS Australian Rally Championship regulars John O’Dowd and Toni Feaver steered their Skoda Fabia R5 to a fifth place outright, coming in 49 seconds behind Guy Tyler and Zayne Admiraal in a 2001 Mitsubishi EVO.
After a close opening two days in the Classic competition, which saw the top two separated by less than one second, Michael Busby and Damien Reed ended the event with a margin of more than one minute over Craig Haysman and Julie Boorman.
Despite only winning three stages over the final two days, Busby and Reed did what they needed to do to win the category, finishing faster than their rivals on most stages.
As they did in the first half of the event, Tim Pryzibilla and Rick Powell rounded out the top three, while 1985 Porsche 944 drivers Nick and Jacob Streckeisen were the best performers of the final two days, winning eight of the final 13 stages – including the final five.
In the Modern Challenge, Justin Perkins and Andrien Brabbins continued their charge to a well deserved victory, turning a 23 second lead from Thursday evening into a commanding 48 second lead over Nigel and Hayleigh Joyce.
The consistent Tim Sinclair and Karl Alexander stayed inside the top three ahead of day two runner-ups Troy and Colin Zytveld.
The final result of the event saw the biggest margin across all four categories as Steven Hevera and Stuart Cavil ended a dominant weekend with a victory of more than two and half minutes in the Classic Challenge.
Challenge Runners Up Karl Von Sanden and Alexander Visintin built on their own big gap over third placed Ross and Emma Smith, finishing the event more than six minutes ahead of the 1984 Nissan 300ZX.