Maximum points for Lawrence in QRC
- 14th April 2011, 9:27pm
The Border Ranges Rally with its unique fast shire roads attracted over 50 entries from both Queensland and New South Wales. NSW resident Peter Roberts set a blistering pace from the start, instantly taking an uncatchable lead leaving the QRC challengers to fight over the remaining places.
With 8 4wd turbo cars in the top ten of the bumper field this was always going to be a tough challenge for the T2Racing team, with Peter Roberts not eligible for QRC points, Kent sensibly decided to concentrate on his QRC rivals and not chase overall victory.
The T2Racing duo finishing 2nd outright, but first QRC contenders, just 4 seconds ahead of team mates Paul Andrews and Marty Penfold.
However it wasn't all plain sailing, it nearly all ended in disaster for Kent and Stephen just 5kms into stage 4, when the fuse box cover came loose and jammed under the pedals as the pair approached a fast right hander, unable to get on the brakes, their Evo left the road at speed. Luckily the area was flat and grassy and they quickly rejoined road with only minor cosmetic damage to their freshly rebuilt Evo.
Over the next five stages the pair swapped seconds with the Evo VII of Paul Andrews and Marty Penfold, matching each other to within a second on 5 of the days 9 stages.
Going into the night stages Kent was confident of holding his small margin, that was until 5kms into stage 7, when blinded by a wall of dust he lost sight of the road and overshot a corner, narrowly missing a fencepost, the small off road excursion costing the pair 17 seconds, putting them 8 seconds behind Paul Andrews with only two runs of the short 3km tarmac stage through Woodenbong left.
On the first run through the Woodenbong stage Kent put his previous circuit racing experience to good use, taking back 5 seconds from Paul. On the second run both drivers were slowed by a stranded Evo in the stage, but by the finish Kent had taken a further 7 seconds from Paul, giving him second place by a meagre 4 seconds.
Unfortunately team mates Mike Bailey and Caitlin Earley weren't so lucky, they suffered drive train issues which saw them parked up only a few kms into stage 7, up to this point they had been making great progress, swapping times with ARC rival Bruce Fullerton. Driver Mike Bailey was philosophical at the disappointing end to the event.
"We entered the event as a bit of shakedown for our 2011 ARC campaign, so I am pleased we did not travel all the way to WA to find we had a problem with the car. Having said that, the roads around Woodenbong are fantastic fun, even though we gave ourselves a huge scare on stage one spinning at over 100kmh!"
The event also marked the new partnership between T2Racing and Z-Car Racing who are the distributors of DMACK tyres in New South Wales and Queensland. After putting the tyres to the test for the first time Kent said
"The tyres were excellent, I had made many changes to the car over the off season so initially the car was struggling for traction. However after adjusting some suspension settings and getting a bit more heat into the tyres we found the traction we were looking for. Overall I am very impressed with the new DMACK tyres and I look forward to using them for the rest of the season and developing a healthy relationship with Z-Car Racing."
Co-driver Steve Andrews was very pleased with the result and said, It's great to get a win on the board after such a disappointing season last year. I'd like to thank the GCTMC organisers who have once again put on an exceptional event. Special mention must go to Paul and Marty for a great battle today we enjoyed a good natured rivalry throughout the day. Also a big thank you to our amazing service crew for all their hard work not just on the event but in the lead up and throughout the close season."
Thanks to all the supporters of T2Racing, including SAABCare, Z-Car Racing, DMACK Tyres, BP Ultimate, Atlas Metals, Nu Pure Water, J&L Haulage, Stickers Direct, Sew Professional, Braid Wheels, and Symposium Cafe.
The team is now concentrating on their preparations for the International Rally of Queensland (IROQ), which is only 4 weeks away. To keep up to date with team news and to view action photos and in-car footage visit www.t2racing.com.au
Photo courtesy of Oâ€™Brien Rallysport
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