Notaras wins Dutton opener
- 1st March 2007, 11:55am
National Champions Martin Notaras and Simon Arthur have taken out Round 1 of Australia's largest Tarmac Rally Series in Queensland last weekend.
The popular crew had some stiff competition, their Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 8 battling it out with the awesome Porsche GT2 of South Australians Greg Keene and Amanda Sparks, and the incredibly quick Lancer EVO 6 of West Australians Kim Ledger and Matt Cherry, last year's winners of the Queensland event.
Keene took out the Drivers Trophy and the Handicap, whilst Notaras was the top co-driver on Handicap and Outright.
Queensland favourites Mark Berry and Russell Newman in their insanely fast Nissan GTR fell on hard times, with a major mechanical failure on Day 1 forcing them to pull out of the event. Although they are hot favourites for the 2007 Series, success in their home event continues to be elusive, having to withdraw for the second year in a row.
The Queensland round saw over 50 cars battle it out at racetracks, airports, dragways and car parks from Warwick to Surfers Paradise. V8 Supercar competitor Paul Weel raced a brand new PWR SS Commodore with his dad Kees Weel, his first ever Dutton Rally event.
Competitors relaxed and traded stories at the popular Melba's nightclub for the rally presentation on the Gold Coast, with rumours rife that Notaras had sold the EVO to a well-known competitor, and possibly a defection of Arthur from the team. Round 2 could see team mates become foes as they battle against each other for the series crown they have held as driver, co-driver and team for the past two years.
Entries are still open for the popular New South Wales at the end of May for Round 2, which is set to be the largest field ever. Events will start in Queanbeyan and Goulburn and will conclude at Eastern Creek International Raceway.
For entry forms, results and series information, go to www.duttonrally.com
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