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James Rodda and Naomi Tillett took out P1 honours in Round 2 of the South Australian Rally Championship last weekend in Robertstown, despite some gearbox dramas.

The rally kicked of with the tough 20km “Dips End” which the Rally Power Motorsport Daihatsu Charade handled well, with some flowing sections of roads as well as some narrower sections. The team was set for a decent stage time until about 14km in when drive in second gear was lost.

“At this point I believed for a split second that the rally was over for us, until I selected third and had drive,” Rodda said.

The 16 year old was able to limp the Charade out of the stage in third gear to try and prevent further damage to the gearbox. SS2 and SS3 were driven with extreme caution so that the car was able to get to service.

At the first service the team was able to drain a small amount of gearbox oil to remove some metal fragments to limit the damage and make it possible to continue in the rally.

“It was a little frustrating due to second gear really being the vital accelerating gear in the 1.3L Charade, and we were really slowed down in tighter corners, where second would normally have been able to pull the car through nicely,” Rodda said.

SS5 and SS6 were two night stages repeated over a varying 26km piece of road. The stage changed back and forth between small tracks and wide, open council roads.

“The first section of these stages was at the bottom of the ridge, and the Charade struggled its way up the hill along the council road in third gear, at a fairly constant speed. Once at the top and on to the smaller track the car was back to what it had been like in the stages beforehand.

“Despite the troubles we had, it was great for the whole team to be able to bring the Charade home and to win P1. I would like to say a big thank you to my parents, service crew: Matthew Parker from MJP Automotive and Patrick Hall for keep the car going all day,” Rodda added.

Rally Power Motorsport is proudly supported by MJP Automotive, Isaacs Auto Electrical, Electronic Imagination and Meadows Vet Surgery.

Remember to visit the team’s website for more latest news, photos and videos: www.rallypower.net

Photo: Offwiththepixels Photography
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