Rodda leads SA Rally Championship
- 2nd July 2012, 11:27am
Twenty-one year old driver, James Rodda and co-driver, Claire Ryan, have taken the lead of the SA Rally Championship by a small margin after a very strong result at the 2012 Copyworld Walky 100 Robertstown Rally last weekend.
The Walky 100, round 3 of the SA Rally Championship, was held on Saturday, June 23, based out of Robertstown, two hours north of Adelaide. The Adelaide Hills residents were keen for a good result after suspension and fuel leak issues caused them to place lower than expected in round 2, the On The Run Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally.
From stage one, the Rally Power Motorsport Subaru WRX was handling the fast roads well, with the crew setting top two stage times and even a few fastest times. As the first loop of stages were almost identical to the previous year’s event, it was easier to compare times.
“It was clear our overall pace had improved since last year!! A few “Crest, air maybe” pacenoting calls being changed to “Big Jump”, literally on the fly!!” Rodda expressed.
“We have done a lot of work improving the consistency of our pacenotes and it definitely seemed to pay off.”
After six stages, Rodda and Ryan were equal first outright with former SA Rally Champion, Declan Dwyer. It was clear they were in an enthralling 'ding dong' battle with Dwyer as times were being traded were within a few seconds each way.
Two of the three stages in the second half of the rally were new. The pair set solid and consistent stage times to stay within reach of Dwyer. On stage 10, the first of the stages repeated at night, Rodda and Ryan were rewarded with a five second win, pulling Dwyer’s lead to one second with two stages to go. Even with their best efforts the chance of winning slipped away, and by the end Rodda and Ryan came home in second outright, just ten seconds behind. Last year’s SA Rally Champion, Russell Marker, finished a further two minutes behind.
“It was a great feeling scoring another strong result for the championship. It makes the event a lot more interesting when the battle is so close at the top! It was very rewarding after the hard work preparing the car too," Rodda added.
With the strong second outright result, the Rally Power team have moved into the lead of the SA Rally Championship for the first time ever. Reigning SA Rally Champion Russell Marker is one point behind with Declan Dwyer six points behind. It is becoming a very hard fought championship and it will be very interesting to see how the final events pan out.
Rally Powers’ next event is the Scouts Rally SA, 27th- 29th July, round 4 of both the SA Rally Championship and Australian Rally Championship. It will also be the final chance to qualify for the Rallyschool.com.au Australian Junior Challenge. More information can be found at www.scoutsrallysa.com.au
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.
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