The Mitsubishi pairing of Scott Pedder and Jon Mortimer have continued on their winning way in the 2010 Australian Rally Championship, winning Leg 1 of the QUIT Forest Rally by 20.1 seconds from Simon and Sue Evans. Darren Windus made a welcome return to competition, driving a Neal Bates Motorsport-prepared Toyota Corolla S2000 to finish the day in third place, albeit over a minute behind Evans.

Showing he has lost none of his talent despite an extended time out of the drivers seat, Pedder won all six forest stages today, and despite a hard-charging Evans, the Mitsubishi driver was able to take Leg 1 honours.

Justin Dowel and Matt Lee, who won their first Australian Rally Championship (ARC) stage in the second run of the Busselton street stage last night, were forced to repair a broken rear drive shaft after today's opening two stages. The pair fought back to record a fourth fastest time in the next stage, but then incurred a 2 minute 20 second penalty for checking out of service 28 minutes late. They finished the day in ninth.

Eli Evans and Glen Weston, who had their share of problems in the opening round of the championship in Tasmania in February, were forced to fix a broken pulley which resulted in their retirement from Heat 1. They plan to rejoin the rally for Heat 2.

Defending Quit Forest Rally champions, Glen and Matt Raymond, began the day on the back foot. A drive shaft change left them with a 30 second penalty for a late check in time and the pair finished the day in twelfth.

Queensland brother and sister team, Ryan and Rebecca Smart, had a sensational day. They finished Heat 1 in an impressive fourth place, with another young guy, Nathan Quinn, in fifth.

Results QUIT Forest Rally Heat 1

(unofficial)

1. Scott Pedder/Jon Mortimer, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 1:03:25.1

2. Simon Evans/Sue Evans, Subaru Impreza WRX, +20.1

3. Darren Windus/John Allen, Toyota Corolla S2000, +1:35.2

4. Ryan Smart/Rebecca Smart, Toyota Corolla Sportivo, +2:28.3

5. Nathan Quinn/David Green, Mitsubishi lancer Evo IX, +2:45.2

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