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2009 South Australian Rally Championship winners, Matt Selley and Claire Ryan, have teamed up again to chase a 2011 title and are in the final throes of preparing their Racecam sponsored Subaru for the first round, the forthcoming Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally.

Selley, who also won the 2007 and 2008 Championships and is the only driver bar SA rally legend Stewie McLeod to have won the prestigious Championship 3 times in a row, did not challenge for the 2010 title, instead focussing on other events intending to use the year to hone his pacenoting skills with the assistance of multi-champion winning co-driver and co-author of “Smoothline” stage notes, Bernie Webb.
 
“Bernie agreed to team up with me and I can’t thank him enough for the help he gave me in writing consistent notes I could be confident to commit to. We proved just how good they were at this event last year when, after a series of mechanical problems, we managed to claw our way back to second outright behind the Weeks Lamborghini, having won several stages, before a driveshaft failure caused our retirement on the final day”, said Selley.
 
Co-driver Claire Ryan was busy herself in 2010, taking out the her own Tarmac Championship in the Early Modern division with Samantha Stevens.
 
Unfortunately, Matt’s 2010 programme was cut short by a serious accident at the ARC Rally of South Australia when his Subaru left the road sideways colliding heavily with a tree on the Mawsons Row stage.
 
“It was the first, and hopefully last, big accident I have had in nearly 10 years of rallying,” he said, “To this day I can’t work out what went wrong but the car didn’t grip up when I expected and Bernie and I were passengers.”  The accident all but destroyed Matt’s ex-SRTA Subaru; with the main impact being just behind his door.  “I’m fully recovered now and raring to go,” he added, “Thanks to a marathon effort by the team at Norwood Auto Services, the car has been rebuilt and will definitely be on the start line at the end of May.”
 
Selley and Ryan teamed up earlier this year when they competed in Selley’s Porsche 911RS in the Inaugural Classic Tasmania in February, finishing a creditable 10th outright and having won one stage.
 
“It was great to get back in the saddle, particularly with Claire who is the consummate co-driver. I love the tarmac events – the discipline of adding detail into the notes and driving cleanly and precisely. The transition from a relatively new 4wd rally car into a nearly 40 year old rear engine Porsche I had never competed in before was challenging and I have huge respect for those who pedal these cars really quickly”, said Selley.
 
Selley and Ryan have entered the Porsche in September’s Classic Targa Adelaide but until then all focus is on the Subaru and the asp Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally.
 
“The road selection this year gives us a real chance against the higher powered cars but Kevin Weeks will be determined to make up for his bad luck at Targa and we have the in-form Sims in their R35 GTR to contend with as well as the very quick Catford Evo 9. We know we are going to lose time on the Saturday when we have to fit the turbo restrictor to qualify for SARC points, but I think we can be up the pointy end by the finish on Sunday”, said Selley.  “The SARC field also looks very strong. It can be difficult being cross-entered and on the road some time before the rest of the SARC crews, sometimes in radically different weather conditions. We’ll be watching the results coming through very closely to make sure we are on pace”.
 
The 2011 Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally will be presenting 28 stages over 3 days, delivering almost 190 competitive kilometres. Friday will start with the prologue at Collingrove, followed by 6 stages that will head towards Penny’s Hill Winery at McLaren Vale through the magnificent Adelaide Hills. Saturday’s 12 stages will be run just south of McLaren Vale down to Victor Harbor, South Australia’s holiday capital and the events service park location for the day. Another 10 stages on Sunday will take place north west of McLaren Vale, travelling through the picturesque towns of Meadows, Macclesfield (location of the Sunday service park) and Strathalbyn before returning to McLaren Vale in the late afternoon to complete the event at Penny’s Hill Winery.
 
Entries have officially opened with the release of Supplementary Regulations.
 
The 2011 Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally has been scheduled for the 27th through to the 29th of May.
 
For more details on the 2011 Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally please visit www.ahtr.com.au


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