Steve Kenway and Lauren Palmer have won their second round of the EXEDY Victorian Rally Championship at the George Derrick Memorial Rally held in Avoca on Saturday.  The pair bounced back from their disappointing result at Round 2, to complete the 110km course over 1 minute clear of second placed Tristan Penhall and Jolie Middleton.  

As expected the Avoca course proved a challenge for many of the skilled EXEDY VRC regulars, with the closely tree lined roads claiming several crews throughout the event.

Penhall was the surprise contender in the event after many other favourites such as Warren Lee / David Lethlean hit a stump on SS3, suffering a puncture while David Nutter also hit the same stump ending his rally.

Penhall and Middleton pushed their early WRX all day with a consistent drive on the tricky roads to compile a credible result at the conclusion of the event.  The winner of the 2010 Victorian Autocross Championship is showing that Autocross is a fantastic learning ground for the skills of forest rallying.

Steve and Glen Raymond were looking to be real a threat to the usual outright contenders in their Group N(P) Corolla, but a missing sump plug put an end to their run at the end of SS1, resulting in a DNF from the heat.  Upon re-joining at the start of heat 2, the pair showed a clean set of heels, winning every stage in Heat 2; they will be ones to watch at the remaining two rounds of the VRC.

A full on attack all event by Rowan Woollard and Chris Bolton in their Datsun 1600 provided spectacular viewing for the hundreds of spectators and officials out in the forest, the pair managing to steer home to 3rd Outright for the event and first in the EXEDY 2WD Category.  Brian Semmens and Dan Parry also had trouble in SS3 around the same place as Lee and Nutter hit a stump, but managed not to suffer any damage; however their rally would come to an end on SS4 with a broken gearbox.

Alan Roe and Neil Farrell would have a clean run in their Nissan 200SX to finish 2nd outright in the 2WD class, behind Woollard and continue to improve on their results each event.  Rob Davis and Aidan O'Halloran showed a consistent pace to round out the top 3 in 2WD in their Nissan Sunny GTi.

The father and daughter pairing of Craig and Carrie Morris were also showing the speed of their new EVO 8 Lancer, sitting in 2nd Outright at the end of heat 1, when they diagnosed a failing diff pump and were forced to withdraw at service.  Hillary Evans and Doug Fernie were also forced to withdraw at the first service when their clutch failed, resulting in lost drive.

In the BATRONIC Hyundai Excel Series, brothers Steven and Brent Mackenzie continue their domination of the series, winning the class by 42 seconds over Tony and Nikki Moore.  Daniel and Matt Anderson came home in third with husband and wife pairing of Danny and Ronnie Hudswell sliding to fourth in class.  Peter Morrison and Susan Wasson rounded out the top 5 in the Excel Series placing’s.  

The EXEDY VRC will now have a three month break, before returning to the ever popular Akademos Rally held in the Alexandra region in central Victoria on 15th October.

Provisional Top 10
    1    Steve Kenway/Lauren Palmer    Subaru Impreza WRX    P5    1:19:00
    2    Tristan Penhall/Jolie Middleton    Subaru WRX    P5    1:20:40
    3    Rowan Woollard/Chris Bolton    Datsun 1600    P4    1:21:17
    4    Wayne Stewart/Lucas Zinsstag    Subaru WRX STi RA    P5    1:21:49
    5    Warren Lee/David Lethlean    Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9    P5    1:22:46
    6    Allan Roe/Ray Farrell    Nissan 200SX    P4    1:23:57
    7    Rob Davis/Aidan O'Halloran    Nissan Sunny GTi    P3    1:24:22
    8    John Wilson/Kevin Wilson    Subaru Impreza WRX    P5    1:25:14
    9    Steven Mackenzie/Brent MacKenzie    Hyundai Excel    P2    1:26:02
    10    Andrew Daniell/Ari Paterson    Datsun 1600    P3    1:26:35

Photo: John Doutch

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