Quinn wins Myall Stages Rally
- 12th August 2008, 3:16pm
Many new winners have been crowned in the past, but last year's event winner Nathan Quinn had a mission and a half this year to repeat his feat of 2007.
The Myall Stages Rally this year was run as a state round, and this meant a whole field of guys behind him that wanted that win, including Michael and Sue South, who have won the first two rounds of the NSW Rally Championship convincingly, and Brian van Eck and Jim Gleeson, who have been so close to winning their first state round for some time now.
The first stage saw the field out on a crisp winter morning on the mainly fast roads. Stage 1 was tied between the championship leader and the young gun. South was ‘quietly confident’ before the start, but knew he had a task ahead. It became harder after stage 2, with the Central Coast driver putting his Subaru Impreza Spec C off the road backwards. Thirty seconds were lost, but the battle was not lost yet.
Quinn had Queensland co-driver John McCarthy with him for the first time in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5, and on stage four the pair hit a bank. The impact was hard enough for the chassis rail to be bent in the front and to lower the engine in the engine bay! But they battled on. The small Coffs Harbour-based team did a great job to get the car out, and despite the damage, they were able to win the last stage to secure the win, by a scant 14 seconds.
The chasing pack were not far behind, with van Eck and Gleeson only half a minute behind in third. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3 driver had fought hard, and has shown that he can mix it with the quickest in the state. That win can’t be far away. Fourth, after a day spent adding water to an Impreza with a broken head gasket, was Claude Murray and Lizzy Ferme. Their second outing in the ex-Andrew Penny Impreza had been a battle of survival - a battle they won!
Bradley Fitzgerald and Matt Hughes had their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 in fifth at the end of a consistent but uneventful day for them. After a run of hard luck stories some solid points were a good reward for a patient drive. Sixth was not the result Peter Roberts and Jack Terp were expecting in their similar Lancer.
The first 2WD home was the noisy Commodore of Robert Inall and Scott Fletcher. The VK Commodore has had a hard time lately with early exits becoming a feature, but the Aussie muscle car made 9th place this time around and was the winner of class P4, despite using a stock of old tyres for this event. Class P2 was won by the Cullen brothers in their Sprinter, 11th outright after some entertaining doughnuts at spectator points! Class P3 was won by what I think is one of the best sounding cars in the country, the Mk 1 Escort of John Hills and Mike Tuckey.
The event within an event was the Myall Lakes Rally, which was won by the all lady crew of Molly Taylor and Kate Bowler in Molly’s rapid Mitsubishi Mirage Cyborg. The little 1.8 litre MIVEC engine, which sounded fantastic, would have finished seventh in the main field. The fight was right there all day though, with the Subaru Legacy of Michael Long and Aaron Topliff. The two crews swapped times all day, eventually finishing about half a minute apart.
The event was run by the Nissan Datsun Car Club, and was upgraded to a state round just under three months ago. For an event to run the way this one did at that type of notice indicates a great job by all.
Pics: Neil Blackbourn
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Results: Myall Stages Rally
1 Quinn / McCarthy Lancer Evo 5 1:09:23
2 M South / S South Impreza WRX 1:09:37
3 Van Eck / Gleeson Lancer Evo 3 1:10:20
4 Murray / Ferme Subaru WRX 1:12:36
5 Fitzgerald / Hughes Lancer Evo 6 1:12:45
Results: Myall Lakes Rally
1 Taylor / Bowler Mitsubishi Mirage
2 Long / Topliff Subaru Legacy
3 Fifield/Pass Mazda RX2
4 Young / Young Holden VT
5 Clarke / Pogson Datsun 240Z
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