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The first round of the KCF Rallysport series saw a strong field of 31 competitors tackle the six stages around the Jimna forestry complex in Queensland.

Seeded at car six were the brother and sister combination of Ryan and Rebecca Smart. This was their first event in the Fullerton Financial Services Lancer Evo 6, recently acquired from Bruce Fullerton.

Ryan and Rebecca had impressed Bruce with their 2007 performances in their Datsun 180B, which has led to Fullerton Financial Services supporting the Smart siblings for the 2008 season.

The pair immediately set their pace for the day on the first run through the two stages used for the event, and at the first regroup were in second place, behind Nathan Quinn/Craig Jones and ahead of Marty Beckton/John McCarthy.

They proceeded to improve their times over both subsequent runs of the loop, increasing the gap to Beckton, who was making a welcome return to the sport in the ex-Justin Dowell Evo 6, and setting times closer to the leader Nathan Quinn, in the ex-Chris Atkinson Evo 5.

At the final control, the Smarts finished in a secure second outright, 50 seconds ahead of Beckton/McCarthy, and over a minute and a half ahead of fourth placed Erik Johnsson/Andrew Crossley.

“I was looking to set consistent times and keep improving,” Ryan said, “and with the car running perfectly, we achieved everything we aimed for. The extra grip and power from the Evo 6, compared to our Datsun, was impressive, especially on the hilly sections.”

The team is aiming to compete in the Queensland Championship in 2008, and possibly a couple of selected ARC events.

“With coates Rally Queensland now moved to June, we are looking at possibly entering the Rally of Canberra as Bruce Fullerton is aiming to compete there as well,” he added.

This would allow both Fullerton Financial Services Evo 6’s to run as a two-car team, with support from Bruce’s sponsors, Fullerton Financial Services and Prime Haulage, and Ryan’s supporters, Yandina Automotive, Silverstone Tyres and Steerfast.

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