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Scott Pedder has blitzed his East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship rivals, winning the round and in the process also claiming second outright in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.
 

Pedder held a minute lead overnight, having dominated the day winning each and every special stage, and he was determined to ensure that he kept that lead on the race to the finish podium in Imbil.
 
“I went out on the first two stages this morning and had a really big go,” said Scott. “I had a good lead but I wanted to put it right out of Brendan’s (Reeves) reach, and we were able to do that.”
 
Showers overnight and again during the day did cause concern for drivers, the notoriously high clay content in the Queensland roads proving particularly slippery on the morning’s third stage Kandanga.
 
“I thought I’d back off a bit but we managed to increase the lead over Brendan, despite the very, very slippery roads. I knew then that it was a case of cruising to the end and locking away the victory,” Scott explained.
 
“We’ve had good weekends in Canberra and WA this year but been let down at the last minute by problems. So it’s a terrific feeling for me, for Dale (Moscatt, co-driver) and for the entire Walkinshaw team to secure this result this weekend,” he added.
 
The result helps Pedder bridge the gap to Championship points leader Reeves, who continued to maintain a consistent pace during Leg Two to finish second in the ECB ARC and third outright in the APRC.
 
“Friday obviously didn’t go to plan (when he collided with a tree on the ARMOR ALL Power Stage) but everything after that has been perfect. The car has performed perfectly, we got it to the finish and we still have the points lead over Scott,” stated Brendan.
 
“Scott drove really well, he was really fast and even when he had a good lead over us he was still pushing, which made no sense to me. We look forward now to the next Round in South Australia,” continued Reeves.
 
Citroen’s Tony Sullens rounded out the podium, finishing third but over seven minutes off the outright pace set by Scott Pedder. “We made a few changes to the car overnight and it felt really good to drive today, it gave me a lot more confidence to push.”
 
“With such a big gap in front and behind I really wasn’t trying to hard most of the weekend, I really was concentrating on having a clean weekend and getting the car to the finish, and we managed that perfectly,” said Sullens.
 
Fourth place fell the way of Michael Boaden, the VW driver taking it cautiously with his developmental engine, which was newly installed for this Round. “Really pleased with how the engine went, it feels strong and the whole plan for this weekend was just to prove it was reliable.”
 
“We’ve proven that now, so we switch focus to the proper race engine we’re working on and have it ready for South Australia. I can’t wait, it should be fantastic!” he beamed.
 
Adrian Coppin had proven fast and consistent during the opening Rounds this year, however his good luck turned to misfortune this weekend with two punctures yesterday and a major suspension failure today.
 
“The first two stages were ok, then on the jump towards the end of the second stage we probably landed a bit hard and it damaged the front left suspension strut,” explained Adrian.
 
“Then in the next stage Kandanga we either jumped too hard or hit a compression too hard because it properly let go and we had to drive the 35 kilometre stage on just the spring!”
 
“We got it fixed though and this afternoon we were right on Tony’s (Sullens, team mate) pace which was good and frustrating at the same time,” Coppin continued.
 
A consistent performance by James Wilson in his near standard Ford Fiesta ST netted him sixth outright and the valuable Championship points on offer.
 
In the Classic category Neal Bates swept past a limping Jack Monkhouse early in the day, and was never challenged winning by almost seven minutes. “A really enjoyable weekend!” smiled Neal.
 
“Yesterday was a bit of a downer when we lost four minutes, but it also forced us to really fight hard and some of the times we set were fantastic in the old Celica. We really pushed hard all day again today and even managed to get within 0.7 seconds of setting a fastest stage time outright.”
 
Monkhouse, who knew it was only a matter of time before he was overtaken by Bates, saw his lead evaporate when a suspension strut began to work free forcing him to slow considerably before a gearbox issue also hampered his progress.
 
Despite the problems Monkhouse still managed to hang onto second just ahead of Queensland local Clay Badenoch.
 
The four starters in the National 4WD series quickly became a two-way fight when Gerald Schofield and Mike Bailey both retired. That left New South Welshman Peter Roberts, who had a leaking intercooler, fighting with Queenslander Jay Davidson, who had a broken gearbox.
 
In the end Roberts was able to edge out to a 47.9 second lead, despite the ‘never say die’ attitude of Davidson who was flinging his Subaru Impreza at each and every corner.
 
At the head of the field Czech Jan Kopecky cruised home to an easy APRC victory, eventually finishing over a minute ahead of Scott Pedder.
 
The Kumho Tyres ‘Spirit of the Rally’ went to Michael Boaden to reward his determination and perseverance in debuting his new engine and bringing it home to the finish.
 
The next Round of the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship takes crews to Scouts Rally SA, the traditional winter rally offering drivers the fast and flowing roads of the Adelaide hills from August 1st-3rd.

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