Second rally win in four weeks for Lawrence/Andrews
- 18th December 2009, 8:29am
The duo were re-joined once again by their usual team mate Mike Bailey, this time in his new car (the ex Justin Dowel Evo VI) and with new co-driver Caitlin Earley sitting alongside.
Kent Lawrence knew he had to take the fight to title rival Matt Van Tuinen from the start, with Lawrence needing to win and needing Van Tuinen to finish 4th or worse to take the QRC title.
After the first 14km stage Lawrence was 10 seconds adrift of Matt Van Tuinen but was happy to be 7 seconds up on previous 3 time winner of this event Glen Brinkmann. On the next two stages Lawrence took 13 seconds back to take a small lead into the last stage before first service, unfortunately all the good work was undone when a small off road excursion cost him 16 seconds. Meanwhile team mate Mike Bailey was setting a steady pace getting used to his new car and working with a new co-driver, holding a comfortable 4th place.
After a brief spanner check at service the crews went out on a repeat loop of the first four stages. Over these four stages, Lawrence picked up his pace and gained four seconds on his rival, whilst team mate Bailey was setting faster times as he got more familiar with his new car.
With four night stages left, Lawrence picked up his pace again, taking an astonishing 32 seconds over 26kms out of Matt Van Tuinen. On the final two tests he took another 20 seconds to take victory by 46 seconds. Unfortunately victory alone was not enough to give Lawrence the Championship, with Matt Van Tuinen finishing 2nd he himself took the title by 7 points.
The other team car of Mike Bailey and Caitlin Earley finished the event strongly setting some competitive times. Mike spent the rally getting up to speed in his new car and working with new co-driver, the up and coming, Caitlin Earley. Their efforts were rewarded with a fine 4th place ahead of the similar car of Wayne Menzies.
Afterwards Mike added, “Caitlin did a fantastic job today, stepping up, it is just a shame that we suffered from severe brake knock off for most of the event and were unable to keep pace with the front three, even so, Kent’s times during the night stages were out of this world!” Caitlin also went on to say “I’d like to say a huge thank you to Mike for giving me the opportunity to step up into a new car, and co-drive at a much more competitive level. It was a truly great event and a great drive”
At the event finish Kent Lawrence praised the team effort, "Today was a tough day, the temperature was extreme but the team worked tirelessly doing a superb job. To come out this year in a new car and set a decent pace was a great surprise also to secure 2nd place in the QRC was a tremendous effort on everyone’s part ".
Kent also went on to say "I would also like once again to acknowledge the hard work of our supporters and sponsors in 2009 without who we wouldn’t be in this position; SAABCARE, BP Ultimate, Task Recruitment, J&L Haulage, Sew Professional, Stickers Direct, and Nu Spring water.
Steve Andrews also acknowledged the hard work and support that had made their result possible "To win Cooloola was amazing but to come to Gallangowan just three weeks later and win took a lot of hard work from the whole team.”
“Additionally to have won the title QRC 2009 Champion Co-Driver is a massive bonus. I would like to thank the entire team for all their hard work this season; it would not have been won without the dedication and hard work of everyone. This is not my trophy, but belongs to the whole team, particularly Kent, who drove superbly all season"
Saab Care Motorsport will be back in 2010 to hopefully once again challenge for the QRC.
VIP Exclusive Content
Get full, exclusive access for only $6.55/month.
- Full access
- Exclusive news
- Store & Tour discounts
Already have an account? Sign in