Shepheard rebuilds for Rally SA attack
- 19th July 2012, 9:16am
The whole team are aiming for an outright victory next week in South Australia, not only for the event itself, but more importantly, to get back in the championship race after a frustrating DNF 2km from the event finish at the last ARC round in Queensland.
Shepheard explains why they could not match Queensland round winner, Michael Boaden’s pace last month.
“In the first stage Saturday morning we arrived at a creek crossing a bit too quick, and some water went into the engine air intake. After the event, when the engine was stripped down, we discovered the gulp of water had cracked all the pistons and bent all the conrods, so the engine was slowly dying from then till the end of the event," lamented a frustrated Shepheard.
“We were around 15% or more down on power for the whole event … so no matter how hard we drove, we could not catch them, but full marks to Michael and Helen, they drove a completely dominant event and won in style.”
The Queensland team have used the winter break to build up a new engine, including a new tuning set up, so they can attack the SA round with one clear aim.
“With the Boaden and Wilde teams getting a large points gap on us now in the championship, we only have one aim from here on in to the end of the series … win everything!”
SACHS co-driver, John McCarthy, looks at he and Shepheard’s chances for the second half of the season.
“We enjoy the South Australian event, and with more forestry and less shire roads this year, its more to our liking. Then we are naturally looking forward to returning to Coffs Harbour for round five, as we won there last year, then hopefully we can all fight it out in Rally Victoria for the title.”
While the cold SA winter climate is a bit of a shock to the warm blooded Queenslanders, it's always been one of the team's favourite events, due to the incredible shire roads through the lush green hills.
The Scouts Rally SA runs over two and a half days throughout the Barossa Valley on some of the finest rally roads Australia has to offer, from July 27 - 29.
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