Two-time Bathurst 1000 winner, Tony Longhurst, is in second place after the first day of the Mt Buller Sprint in north east Victoria.

Driving a Subaru Impreza WRX STI with the support of Les Walkden Rallying, Longhurst and co-driver, Jahmeil Taylor, had a good first day, despite both suffering from a virus.

After the day’s six runs, they trail Mt Buller Sprint debutante, George Miedecke, by 10 seconds. But with a further six runs up the gruelling 16 kilometre tarmac access road to the Mt Buller ski resort tomorrow, Longhurst is confident of closing the gap.

“I was very happy with the car today, but George is doing a great job and he’ll be hard to catch,” Longhurst said tonight.

“I’ve been feeling a bit off colour and I think that’s hampered my performance a little bit, but to be in second place is pleasing, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

Today’s overcast conditions provided a real challenge for the 55 competitors in the annual event, with cold temperatures on the top of the mountain, but warmer weather at the bottom.

“It was quite hot at the bottom where the stages started, but a lot cooler at the finish,” Longhurst added. “But it remained dry today, so there weren’t too many surprises.

“By the looks of the clouds rolling in it could be wet tomorrow, so that will through up a few more challenges.”

Kevin Weeks holds a provisional third place at the end of day one, driving his Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, with the Lancer Evo 9 of Klark Quinn in fourth. Pre-event favourite, Jason White, retired his Lamborghini with engine failure.

LWR team owner, Les Walkden, is placed mid-field in his Subaru Impreza WRX STI, and is loving the challenge of the event.

Making a comeback to rallying after a 16 year lay-off, Walkden is getting faster with each stage he completes.

“I’ve had a ball today – it’s been excellent,” Walkden said. “With Tony in with a chance of victory as well, it’s been a great day for the team.”

The Mt Buller Sprint continues tomorrow (Monday).

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