Rugged Hyundai Excels in tough conditions
- 17th May 2007, 2:09pm
Current Australian Rally Commission Chairman and former Australian Champion, Ed Ordynski, drove the Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s Excel at the Car Auctions Sydney Rally of Lithgow last Saturday.
Hyundai, in conjunction with Car Auctions Sydney, had invited Ordynski to be part of the event to raise the profile of the Australia’s latest one-make rally series “The Excel Rally Series”.
The battle between Ordynski and 2007 Excel Series leader, Glenn Farrant, was one of the most closely watched highlights of the event, with the gap after 150km of competitive stages being just 35 seconds in Farrant’s favour.
The course itself proved to be testing with many cars being hampered by the roughness of the roads. Both Excels proved their toughness on the stages with only a loose bolt on the Farrant car slowing its pace. The loose bolt and resultant flat tyre gave Ordynski the team’s first stage win, by 18 seconds.
Another two stage wins on stages seven and eight kept the battle going all the way to the finish.
“Glenn Farrant had the measure of us most of the time, but we were always less than a second per kilometre away and to finally get ahead on a couple of stages only came with a huge attack and commitment, and a couple of minor errors on Glenn’s part – he is incredibly fast and his co-driver, Anna, obviously did a marvellous job on the pacenotes,” Ordynski said.
“The Excels are strong, fast (both finished inside the top 20 of a 55 car field) and best of all, very challenging and great fun to drive,” enthused Ordynski.
The new “One Make” Hyundai Excel Rally Series will see rallying in Australia gain new popularity. The series concept started in NSW in 2005 and has since expanded to Victoria (2006), South Australia (2007) and in 2008 it will extend to Tasmania. All series run under the same basic rules in each state allowing interstate competition and parity.
The next round of both the NSW and Victorian Excel Rally Series is the “State of Origin” challenge in Bega on the long weekend of June 11. At this event the regular NSW crew of Mick Gillett and Marek Dzidowski will be joined by 2006 Victorian teammates Paul Batten and Craig Jones in the Excel prepared by students at Kangan Batman TAFE in Melbourne.
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