Razvan Vlad and Daymon Nicoli have regained the first place in the 2WD Australian Rally Championship following a great performance at Rally Australia.

The team entered their MAXYrally.com Ford Fiesta ST in the WRC competition, one of only 6 Australian crews to do so. With the first two days of Rally Australia counting for the ARC, the team had to balance outright speed with the consistency required to finish such a long event.

“We tested in Coffs just before the event and I was confident that our car would suit the roads” said Vlad. “Our plan was to push hard on the first few stages, build a lead in our class, and then just manage that until the end. It worked very well because the first stage on Friday was extremely slippery. Many drivers opted for a cautious approach, but I am used to driving in such treacherous conditions and we were the second quickest 2WD car on this stage, nearly one minute faster than the other Ford Fiesta ST.”

On Saturday morning the car developed a problem with the wheel bearings, which caused Vlad to lose nearly 2 minutes on the first loop of stages. “It was very important to finish the ARC rally, so when the rear bearings failed I slowed down a lot to make sure that we get back to service with all four wheels still on the car” said Vlad. Despite the time loss, the Fiesta finished the ARC event second in the 2WD class and scored enough points to regain the first place in the 2WD Championship.

With no more championship points to think about, Vlad and Nicoli set out on Sunday to extend the Class 8 lead and score a few more stage wins in the 2WD WRC competition. They did just that, taking the first stage of the day and then going on to win Class 8 by more than 2 minutes, in front of the Ford Fiesta ST of Adrian Coppin.

“I really enjoyed Rally Australia, it was my dream to compete in WRC and I am glad I did not let myself and my team down” said Vlad at the end of the event.

“Everything worked for us this weekend, I proved that we have both the speed and the reliability to win our class and hopefully win the 2WD Australian Rally Championship too. We now have a lead of more than 30 points, which I am confident that we can defend in Melbourne.”

The Fiesta is now back at Absolute Panel and Paint in Coffs Harbour before being shipped to Victoria for the last round of the championship. To follow the team’s progress and read about their preparations go to www.MAXYrally.com or join their Facebook group of supporters.

Photo: Peter Whitten

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