Razvan Vlad and Daymon Nicoli finished third 2WD in both the APRC and ARC competitions at the recent International Rally of Queensland 2011. It was the first time the team had competed on gravel outside their home state of WA, so it took a while to learn the twisty and rough Queensland roads.

Razvan is a well seasoned tarmac rally driver, so on the first two spectator stages the team opened up a six second gap to the next APRC 2WD crew. On the gravel stages, they managed to win the first heat in the ARC 2WD competition and finish second in the APRC 2WD, just 38 seconds behind double APRC champion Karamjit Singh.

Following two more tarmac stages this was trimmed to 27 seconds, and after the first gravel stage on Sunday, the Ford Fiesta ST was only 14 seconds behind Karamjit’s Proton Satria Neo. A wrong pacenote on the next stage caused the Fiesta to go off the road and hit a tree sideways at nearly 70 km/h. It was a heavy impact and the team lost nearly 20 minutes getting the car back on the road, but finished the stage and got back to service.

Upon closer inspection, the damage, although significant, proved only cosmetic and the team decided to continue. It was the strength of the modern crash cell in the standard car and the added roll cage that made it possible for the crew to get away with only a few bruises from an accident which could have been a lot more serious. The other competitors were amazed to see the MAXYrally.com Fiesta back on the road - “the resilient little bugger”, as one of them put it, proved stronger than the Queensland gum trees.

After winning heat one and finishing third in heat two, the MAXYrally.com team is now second in the 2WD ARC, four points behind the Holden Commodore of John Bruinsma and Lisa White, and 67 points ahead of the Honda Civic Type R of Eli Evans and Glen Weston.

With two months to get the car ready for Rally South Australia, the team is confident that the car can be repaired on time. The MAXYrally.com team is supported by ANQ Solutions, XS Energy Drink, Douglas Automotive and would like to thank Pacific Ford for their help in Queensland and Linford Ford for supplying the parts on such a short notice.

You can follow Razvan and Daymon on their ARC adventure by going to www.MAXYrally.com

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