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Nissan Car Club’s Aiden Peart and Darren Davison mastered the muddy conditions and heavy rain in a Datsun 260Z at the second round of the Victorian Club Rally Series (VCRS) taking victory at the Sheen Panel Service Ringwood Marysville Stages on May 4. Persistent rain which plagued the CAMS Hino Geelong Victorian Rally Championship (VRC) competitors earlier in the day, turned to heavy showers in the evening, setting up a challenging night for the 27 crews entered. Brian Newton and Ryan Price set the early pace in their Honda Civic, going fastest on the first stage, 12 seconds clear of Ada River Rally winners Cody Richards/Matthew Dillon (Ford) with Phillip and Damien Wilson (Toyota), and Peart within striking distance. Peart/Davison went fastest on SS2 and SS3, but consistency gave Newton/Price a slender 12 second advantage at the midway point. Richards was in the mix too until they lost brakes and broke an axle on SS3. Newton’s great run came undone on SS4, dropping more than 10 minutes before eventually retiring. Peart clinched the remaining three stage wins to finish the night more than two minutes clear of the Holden Commodore of Keith Cuttle who went one better than his third placing at Ada River, with Cary Seabrook on the notes. The Wilsons took the final step on the podium. Aiden O’Halloran/Brian Portz (Mitsubishi) and Daryl King/Troy Hutchins (Toyota) completed the top five. A tremendous effort from the team at Grunt Performance saw Braeden Kendrick and Kate Meyer bounce back from a struck throttle and subsequent trip into the undergrowth in the VRC event earlier in the day to finish sixth in their Holden Commodore. Gates/Nicholls (Mazda), M Garrad/Murphy (Hyundai), Hale/Pollock (VW) and R Garrad/Wright (Peugeot) rounded out the top 10. Crews have about a month to regroup before the third round at the German Technik Nissan Nightmoves on the evening of June 15.

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