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Toyota Kluger Rally SA is renowned for being the fastest, smoothest and most popular rally on the NEC ARC calendar, and in 2007 Kaitler Motorsport Engineering Rallye Sport were able to see exactly why.

“We had come from a big accident in our last rally,” explained driver Brenton Kaitler, “so this event was really about putting together a brand new package and conducting a lot of testing.”

With well-respected co-driver, John Allen, joinned the team they took a mature approach to the event, deciding to ignore times and instead focus on setting up the car, building a strong driver/co-driver partnership and tyre testing.

Dunlop tyres were selected for the opening tarmac blast around the Angaston showgrounds on Friday night and despite not having sat in the car since crashing earlier in the year, Kaitler and Allen quickly settled in, setting 15th fastest time from a combined field of 70 competitors.  After two stages the team were pleased to be sitting in 13th outright.

On Saturday Yokohamas were used for the duration.  As Kaitler became more comfortable with the car and set up, times quickly fell.  By Mawsons Row, Kaitler was only 1.4 seconds per kilometre slower than rally winner Simon Evans and was very pleased with the day’s results.  A further two runs around Angaston that night resulted in 10th outright on both occasions.

Sunday morning saw the team trial a hard compound Pirelli, designed to last the entire day.  However two stages in it was clear the wrong tyre choice had been made, with a full minute dropped compared to where they were running the day before.  A change to a medium compound Pirelli brought much better results for KME RS, with times once again dropping throughout the day.  

After two days of fast rallying on some of the best roads in Australia, KME RS came out unscathed and were very happy with their results.  

“We came into this event with the sole aim of finishing,” says Kaitler.  “We weren’t interested in times, however post-event analysis shows our faster stage times were over 20% faster than Queensland, and as a result we have jumped 12 positions in the driver seeding list.  

“John did an amazing job coaching me over the weekend, and we are hoping to build this into a long-term package.”

KME RS are skipping the Great Lakes Rally in NSW, instead focussing on two pacenoted events in Victoria in the interim, before their assault on NGK Rally of Melbourne in November.

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