Round 4 of the Victorian Rally Championship, the Akademos Rally,  was to be a challenging event for all the competing crews. Based out of the townships of Alexandra and Thornton, the rally threw everything it had at the state’s top drivers.

One of two pace noted events in the Victorian Rally Championship, crews were greeted with a picturesque covering of snow over the stages during their first recce run. This was to slowly melt as the day went on but would require stage two to be shortened significantly on Sunday due to the liaison section being near impassable.

Sundays event started in the main street of Alexandra to partly cloudy skies which was a relief to all competitors. Jesse Robison and Adam Wright in the Robison Motorsport Impreza were looking to attack early and challenge championship leaders Nathan Reeves and Scott Spedding, who had the chance of wrapping up the title at this event. Robison was happy to start car 2 on the road, as this allowed him to see some of the lines Reeves was to take in the opening stages tricky conditions.

Robison and Wright were impressed with the way their Subaru handled the slippery conditions caused by the melting snow, losing the first stage by only 3 seconds to Reeves. Stage two had been shortened to a 2.6 kilometre blast, which Reeves was to win by 1 second over Robison who had tried to ensure he kept in touch in order to attack on the 31 kilometre Black Quartz stage. This was to be hard fought with Reeves taking it by only 2 seconds to win the first heat of the rally and take a 6 second lead into the service break.

After the service break the crew began the first repeated stage, the now cut-up Warby Road, looking to make an attack on the 6 second deficit. Knowing that their RS&SP suspension thrives in rough conditions, the cut up road was not going to be a problem. Jesse and Adam therefore started the stage full of confidence, which unfortunately was derailed when a faulty fuel injector caused them to drop 30 seconds to Reeves.   

This put them in tough position going into the final 32 kilometres of the event. On the shortened stage 5 the injector cleared itself though, allowing them to get within a second of Reeves on this quick blast. The final stage was to be a rough and slippery challenge to finish the event, and only 3.5 kilometres in, disaster struck. Robison and Wright slipped wide on a tightening left hander to beach the car and were unable to get it back on the road, prematurely ending their day.

As frustrating as this mishap was, it has given the crew even more drive to achieve a good result at Rally Victoria, the final round in both the VRC and ARC. “With minimal damage from the incident at the Akademos, we will be ensuring that every system on the car is bullet proof in order to take maximum points at Rally Vic.” Robison said.

Congratulations must go to the new VRC champions Nathan Reeves and Scott Spedding who have driven magnificently all season.

The team would like to thank all of their sponsors, including Barattero Motorpsort Group, RS&SP Suspension, 99R High Performance Brake Pads, Efrom 4x4 Suspension, Modena Racing Gears, Autobarn Narre Warren, Fabraications and Golly Photo.
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