Stewart Reid, co-driven by Iain Stewart, has won the Classic competition at this year’s Scouts Rally SA, by the narrowest of margins of 1.9 seconds from a hard charging Richard Galley in his Datsun 260Z.

Reid did not have the rally his own way, with an uncharacteristic visit into the scenery in heat 1 on Saturday. “It was simple, driver error,” Reid said, the historic Rallysport Escort BDG not turning into a left hander, damaging the right hand corner of the car.

Damage was only cosmetic and Mark Solloway, principal of Historic Rallysport, working in the service park said that the damage did not affect the car.

A quality field assembled for the Scouts Rally SA event with the unfortunate withdrawal at the last minute by Ross Dunkerton, a medical condition preventing him from driving - his media duties still being able to be completed.

Galley had lead heat 1 on Saturday up until the midday stages, but as Reid got his act together the Escort showed who was in charge. Whilst Reid and Galley battled it out, Jeff David posted some fast times, elevating the Porsche to second place, only 0.7 of a second behind Reid.

Disaster struck the Commodore of Barry and Helen Lowe, with the crankshaft in the engine snapping on SS7. “I only revved it to 6,800, it was supposed to be good to 7,000! Oh well, we have to regroup now for Rally Australia,” Lowe said.

His good friend Dave Thompson has stepped up to lend him an engine so he can compete.

Galley slipped back to 3rd for Heat 1 with overheating. South Australian local Neville Whittenbury surprised the ARC regulars with a fine drive to fourth.

Heat 2 started on drier roads after a full pass of the entire Scouts Rally SA field. First retirement saw Jeff David succumb to suspension failure on SS9 and David Hills in his Escort BDA. Richard Galley sorted the overheating in the 260Z and although second fastest on the opening test, soon took control over the flying Escort of Reid - the fast South Australian roads suiting the long legged Datsun.

Henry Nott did not finish SS12 and Darryn Snooks and Matt deVaus were sidelined with total differential failure in the works Datsun Stanza replica.

Galley took the Heat by 10.9 seconds, his first ARC Heat win, from Reid and Whittenbury in third. Reid was the overall the winner of the weekend’s competition.

Crews now prepare for the Coffs Coast Classic Rally in September.

Photo: Stuart Bowes

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