The SAABCARE Motorsport team had its first taste of success at the recent Cooloola Classic Rally, with Kent Lawrence and co-driver Steve Andrews taking victory. The Cooloola Classic Rally was the penultimate round of this year’s Queensland Rally Championship. The event base was the Glastonbury showgrounds but the event started from Monkland Reserve adjacent to the Bruce Highway.

For this event usual team mates Mike and Matt Bailey were replaced by the teams technical manager Paul Andrews and his co-driver Ron Peters after Mike Bailey was unable to compete. Unfortunately they were forced to retire at the second service when driver Paul Andrews was taken ill.

On the opening test of the event Lawrence leapt out of the blocks setting 2nd fastest time. This was exactly the start the team were looking for and Lawrence bettered it on the 2nd stage, setting the fastest time.

With Lawrence gaining more confidence with the car as each event passes, he started to push harder, again setting the fastest time on the third stage, setting the only sub 15 minute stage time. The day was not without its dramas, on SS6 dust was a problem and the crew lost 30 seconds quite literally coming to a standstill mid stage, the car also suffered a bent tail shaft when it struck an unavoidable rock in the middle of the road.

By the end of the event, with 5 fastest times out of the 9 stages, Lawrence finished with over a minute margin to second place Matt Van Tuinen.

After the event Kent Lawrence praised the team effort, "This was our toughest rally so far and our first blind rally in the new car, a big thank you must go to the entire team, the great thing is, it really is a team . . . everyone gets along so well and it just works". Kent also went on to say "I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of our supporters and sponsors who also made this win possible; SAABCARE, BP Ultimate, Task Recruitment, J&L Haulage, Sew Professional, Stickers Direct, and Nu Spring water.”

Steve Andrews also acknowledged the hard work and support that had made their result possible "This is a big result for us, a massive achievement. It would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of our team, everyone worked so hard in the lead up to and during the event itself, there's so much more to this win than just the two of us in the car"  

With one round of the QRC remaining Steve Andrews has already won the QRC co-drivers title, Kent Lawrence however, has the last QRC round to make his mark and take the drivers title.

The final QRC round is this Saturday’s Extreme Motorsports Gallangowan 150 at the former Forestry Station of Gallangowan.

For more information about The Extreme Motorsports Gallangowan 150 please visit www.bscc.asn.au

Images courtesy of Mat Jones Photographic

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