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The NSW pairing of Tom Clarke and Ryan Preston have taken out the Mitta Mountain Rally, the second round of both the NSW and Victorian Rally Championships in north east Victoria. Driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, Clarke was too strong for the 51 car field, taking victory by over two minutes from JJ Hatton and Nathan Long in a Lancer Evo 9.
JJ Hatton struggles through the final stage with a punctured front tyre.

JJ Hatton struggles through the final stage with a punctured front tyre.

Hatton was delayed on the final stage with a puncture, but stayed clear of Tim Wilkins and Jim Gleeson in a Lancer Evo 7 in third place. Cool weather and fog greeted crews in the early morning, as the battle began just over an hour from Albury. The five special stages driven 'blind' was a challenge for many and required great concentration, particularly on the two long stages - both over 35 kilometres in length. Thomas Dermody and Eoin Moynihan were the first two-wheel drive car home, bringing their Escort into fourth place, while Ben and Cathy Hayes were the first Victorian crew home, finishing fifth in their Subaru Impreza WRX. Further details to follow.
Ben Hayes was the first Victorian driver home, in fifth place in his Subaru.

Ben Hayes was the first Victorian driver home, in fifth place in his Subaru.

Provisional results: 1. Tom Clarke/Ryan Preston, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 1h40m40s 2. JJ Hatton/Nathan Long, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, +2m 16s 3. Tim Wilkins/Jim Gleeson, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, +2m 41s 4. Thomas Dermody/Eoin Moynihan, Ford Escort, +4m 28s 5. Ben Hayes/Cathy Hayes, Subaru Impreza WRX Sti, +4m 47s
Beautiful autumn colours greeted crews at the Mitta Mountain Rally in Victoria.

Beautiful autumn colours greeted crews at the Mitta Mountain Rally in Victoria.

Stephen Eccles' Subaru and Jason Lennane's Proton do battle over the final stage at the Mitta Mountain Rally.

Stephen Eccles' Subaru and Jason Lennane's Proton do battle over the final stage at the Mitta Mountain Rally.

Allan Friend and Michelle Canning were another to lose valuable time with a puncture on the final stage.

Allan Friend and Michelle Canning were another to lose valuable time with a puncture on the final stage.

   
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