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Rally Power Motorsport’s James Rodda and co-driver Claire Ryan have started the 2012 SA Rally Championship with a strong second outright result at the inaugural Rallye Wattle Range. The new rally ran on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14 and was based out of Millicent, with stages around both Millicent and Beachport townships. Some very fast, challenging stages were used, ones that would reward commitment to pace notes, but also care in rougher sections.

The pairing of Rodda and current ARC Honda Racing co-driver, Claire Ryan, proved very successful, with times in the top three on the Friday night super specials. Once stages got underway on Saturday morning, Rodda and Ryan, in their 1999 Subaru WRX, were trading times with local competitors Gary Brown and Mike Dale in their Mitsubishi VR4.

Adding to the atmosphere of the event, Saturday morning started with a display and breakfast at the Beachport Jetty before two blasts along the coastal scenic drive road.

“It’s great to have Claire on board this year. We are working really well in the car already!" Rodda said.

"Prior to the event we worked hard on improving our pace noting system, and it has made a massive improvement to my confidence! The times speak for themselves too, as now we able to trade times with Gary.”

The pair continued swapping times at the top of the field and by the start of the night section Rodda was leading by one second! Unfortunately, the Subaru’s gearbox lost drive in third gear. The focus for the team changed to consolidating second place. Even with the missing third gear, Rodda and Ryan managed to set times in the top three before the gearbox became stuck in fourth gear just a few corners from the finish of the final stage.

“Luckily we managed to drive it in fourth back to the finish at Millicent Showground - not that the clutch enjoyed it too much. By the time we drove into Parc Ferme both the clutch and gearbox were making dreadful noises, so it was a massive relief to just get the car home!”

“This is an awesome start to the season, especially with round two being the Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally in May, where we have shown some great results at in the past. Now with better pace notes, we should have a good chance at being at the pointy end!”

The Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally is the team's next event, running from May 18 to 20.

Rally Power Motor Sport is proudly supported by MJP Automotive, Isaacs Auto Electrical, Infinite lending Solutions, Meadows Vet Centre, SA Motorsport Tyres, Autosport, S&J Automotive, S2 Performance, Pfitzner Performance Gearboxes and Signs One.

For more information head to www.rallypower.com.au or www.facebook.com/rallypower

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