Privateers Paul Batten and Craig Jones have a massive rebuild ahead of them if they are to make the start line for the Rally of Melbourne in November.

After a consistent year leading into the Great Lakes Rally, the Subaru-mounted pair won the Privateers’ Challenge in Heat 1 of the NSW event, but crashed heavily on the second stage of Heat 2.

“I had been taking 8 right corners in fourth gear all event and this corner was called an 8 right, but I knew I was in big trouble straight away when I came over the brow and saw the corner,” Batten says. “Talking to other crews after the accident the corner was definitely a 6, which meant I should have been going much slower in third gear.

“I am still not sure how I got this corner so wrong, but the long and short of it is I made a mistake and paid a massive price.”

The self funded team have a big challenge to overcome if they are to race Bruce Fullerton for the Rally Challenge title at the NGK Rally of Melbourne.

“We are tied with Bruce on 200 points leading into the decider. All year I have been driving within myself, but a major pacenoting mistake has really made things tough for us,” Batten said.

“Early prognosis of the damage isn’t good. There are thousands of dollars just in bolt-on parts. We are assessing the damage to the body shell at the moment but some early signs are pointing towards critical damage.”

“We have our heart set on making Melbourne, but we need all the help we can get if we are going to make it,” co-driver Craig Jones added.

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