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The first round of the ASP South Australian Rally Sprint Series (SARSS) was kicked off on June 26 at Walky Park, halfway between Truro and Blanchetown, north of Adelaide.

Michael Clements/Andrew Admiraal won the event in their Subaru WRX STi.Cars lined up with everything from a classic 1970 Datsun 1600 to a more modern 2005 Subaru WRX STi and everything in between, including a selection of Buggies.

The event was promoted by Walkerville All Cars Club (WACC) and sponsored by various South Australian Tyrepower dealers. There were over half a dozen clubs represented in the field of 29 drivers, including Southern Districts Car Club (SDCC), South Eastern Automobile Club (SEAC), Rallysport Club of SA, Scout Motorsport, Sporting Car Club and the hosts, WACC.

Competitors drove up to 460km, and from as far away as Mount Gambier and Bordertown, to support this true state series.  Many camped overnight at the onsite camping facilities, listening to rally stories around the fire from the rally masters volunteering to help run the event.

Spectators filled the balcony at the Brian Schultz Shed to capacity to watch the day unfold and completely emptied out the BBQ lunch by 2pm.

Competitors were looking forward to nine stages totalling approximately 43km of competitive tracks with the stages being in excellent condition.  There were two runs in each direction of the longer 6.1km Matt’s Marathon stage in the morning.  This was followed by three runs in one direction and two in the reverse direction of the shorter 2.5km Angel Wings stage in the afternoon.

Competition got off to an early start with the first cars out in the cool morning air around 9:45.  

Unfortunately, four cars suffered technical difficulties and where unable to proceed onto the second stage, with one more dropping out before the third stage.

The remainder of the field had a fairly troublefree day, although some had to coax their cars to finish the day.  

The rain held off all day with only a few sprinkles on the windscreens to let us know it was there.  Previous days had seen heavy downpours, unusual for this area, but that helped the tracks remain firm and consistent throughout the day.  The rain had also provided a good watersplash for the early stages.

Right from the start Michael Clements/Andrew Admirraal in their blue Subaru WRX STi was going to be hard to catch.  As it turned out, no-one was able to catch them all day.

Paul Rowe/Christopher Clarke in a Subaru Legacy was second, despite turbo boost problems towards the end.  Third was the Holden Gemini of Carwyn Harries/Matt Henderson.  Carwyn and Matt were hot off a great run at the RAA Southern Rally to once again prove you don’t need a turbo 4WD to be competitive.

The two buggies were an interesting contrast to the rally cars and were good to watch, although the trophy Kart was much quicker than its bigger cousin.

By all accounts, the winners were the SA rally community as everyone had a great day out and we welcomed a number of new competitors to the rally club.

Big thanks to Matt Monto and his crew and all the volunteers, as well as Tyrepower Independents at Kensington Park (Matt), Southside Morphett vale (Danny), Blackwood (Darryl), Campbelltown (Justin), Mount Gambier (Roman) and Victor Harbor (Scott & Judy) for their support of grass roots motorsport in South Australia.

1st O/R: Michael Clements/Andrew Admiraal, Subaru WRX STi
2nd O/R: Paul Rowe/Christopher Clarke, Subaru Legacy
3rd O/R: Carwyn Harries/Matt Henderson, Holden Gemini

M1    Damian Reed/Dale Neighbour, Hyundai Excel
M2    Carwyn Harries/Matthew Henderson, Holden Gemini
M3    Zayne Admiraal/Matthew Heywood, Toyota Celica
M4    Michael Clements/Andrew Admiraal, Subaru WRX STi
B1    Bradley Tink, Kart RS450

Photographers’ choice
Best splash: Daniel Blakemore/David Langfield, Toyota Corolla

Tyrepower Rallysprint entry prize.
Denis Wisby, Toyota Starlet.

Photo: Tony Donoghue Photography

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