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Last weekend the Perth-based GTi Motorsport Team took part in their home round of the Australian Rally Championship the Quit Forest Rally. Following is their report from the event:

MIXED WEEKEND FOR GTI MOTORSPORT

Friday afternoon saw the GTi Motorsport Team of Mark Cameron/Ian De Boer and Justin Kinnear/Adam Pearson "shaking down" on the Busselton Super Stage. A late braking entry from the Suzuki GTi of Cameron/DeBoer saw a hay bail get moved two metres, after which it was back to the holiday house for some hasty frontal repairs by the crew.

The Evo 7 of Kinnear/Pearson didn't escape without dramas either. While running some sponsors/officials around the course the bonnet flew up, luckily causing no damage. The official was heard to say "that's not supposed to happen, is it?", and all this before the event even started!

The GTi was repaired (now missing the spot lights) and fronted on Friday night without any indication of what had transpired over the last six hours. Well done to the crew.

Heat 1 saw Cameron/De Boer swapping stage times all day with the Honda of Sleep/Kirkhouse, chasing the 2WD honours, with the Honda just pipping the Suzuki by less than 17 seconds. The Suzuki finished a very impressive 12th outright.

The Evo 7 of Kinnear/Pearson had a troublesome run until SS8, when sliding wide out of a corner, they clipped the drain and bent the L/H rear lower and upper control arms. They finished the stage with a "very out-of alignment" rear end and pushed on through the last two stages around Nannup Oval before the crew could replace the arms during the long service. The Evo 7 finished 7th outright and first Mitsubishi home, including the ARC entrants.

Heat 2 saw the rains come down and stages were modified due to road damage. New instructions were handed to the competitors to get them to a new start location for ‘Brockman’. The instructions were mis-read and found the Suzuki of Cameron/DeBoer loosing time booking in to the start control.

This fired up Cameron/DeBoer and they pushed the Suzuki hard all day in the rain and slush to another second 2WD placing, this time behind the Escort of Pugh/Chudleigh. This was enough for them to take out the overall 2WD win for the weekend, something the team has been chasing for a number years and never achieved.

Kinnear/Pearson were slipping and sliding all over the place and on SS17 damaged an oil cooler. Luckily, they finished the stage and made it back to service where the oil cooler was bypassed, which allowed them to continue. Some late-time penalties incurred by the incident caused them to be dropped down to the tail end of the field.

With more rain falling towards the end of the event, Kinnear/Pearson were caught behind slower cars and mud and slush, which slowed them down considerably. They ended up finishing 11th on the day, with a few battle scars to prove they didn't give up the fight.

Overall the GTi Motorsport Team was very happy with the results and would like to thank their sponsors: Major Motors, Howard Porter Body Builders, Easifleet, CTI Taxi Trucks, Transtor, AGIP Lubricants, Eager Beavers, Ryform Doors, WW Autographics, Suzukishop and Ralliart.

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