David Nutter and Catherine Taylor have successfully finished the  2008 Victorian Rally Championship season in a very strong second outright.

The Akademos Rally, the last event and final Championship place clincher, was run successfully by Peter Otzen and the Melbourne University Car Club Team including a cast of over 100 volunteers in the Alexandra/Thornton area, and was a thriller.  

The event included one of the strongest fields seen in recent years including several top interstate competitors and featured international contender Brendan Reeves with sister, Rhianon, in the navigator’s chair, and their brother Nathan. Both Reeves crews were in very competitive cars but the stars of the event were Brendan and Rhiannon who were out for a practice before their entry this month in the Fiesta International Shootout in England, and they managed a victory in a non-turbo car, ahead of a strong field of turbo cars. The result was a testament to his skill, dedication, enthusiasm, and probably a bit of practice and coaching from his father Mike, a recent Victorian Rally Champion.

The team at David Nutter Ford Used Cars work shop (DNFUC), had successfully pieced their car together after an altercation with the scenery in the last event, and the car was running very nicely, however needing some fine tuning of the pace noting, the suspension settings, and tuning up of David’s driving, the team slipped back into the field in the first half of the event. Mathematically they could have won the championship if Mark Fawcett had fallen off the road or broken his car, and also if they scored just one more point than Jesse and Sam Robison. They did manage to score that one point extra by the end of the event.

Shades of Lewis Hamilton’s one point F1 Championship? Well, sort of.
           
After the mid point service break, the first half day stages were repeated and David and Catherine gained more than 10 seconds in each of the two stages after some fine tuning of some of the settings.

David and Cat, however, cruised through those last four stages, knowing they had gained the vital one point to gain second place in the championship and could not gain enough points to get first. They finished fifth in class on the day, and their time was still only 1.2 seconds per kilometre behind the eventual champion,  Mark Fawcett.  

“Not a bad driving effort on the day, and the season, for bloke over 21!” quipped Cat, “and not a bad navigator/co-driver effort for a sheelah under 30 years of age, especially in a car with a bloke that was driving on the day like he had a skirt on”, added David.

It is now over a season since the engine or the suspension had a re-build so the team’s mechanical finishing record has been running in the face of a low budget risk. The top Australian teams can overhaul their engine and suspension after every event. 

The team now invites sponsorship growth, and sponsors will get great exposure on the car itself and all other team vehicle signage, regular mentions in dispatches, and other sponsor benefits.
   
The team particularly thanks Hayman Reece Towing Equipment, Castrol Oils, and David Nutter Ford Used Cars, for their valued sponsorship support that helps keep the car on the road, along with other support sponsors.
 
The team now looks forward to freshening the car to be straight out of the blocks for the 2009 Victorian Rally Championship Season. 

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