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The final round of the 2013 Australian Tarmac Rally Championship, the Snowy River Sprint, has been run and won, with Nathan Reeves and Reubecca Sheldrick taking outright honours for the rally, and Samantha Stevens and Daniel Lemish securing the 2013 Championship title.

Crews and touring cars lined up on Saturday November 23 for two days and 320 competitive kilometres of closed road stages through the Snowy Mountains from Buchan to Orbost, inland from the coastal holiday destination of Lakes Entrance.

Reeves and Sheldrick, driving a Subaru WRX STI, fired out from the first stage, battling closely with Tim Hendy and Joanne Sibley in their R34 Nissan Skyline. Close behind and sometimes separated by mere thousandths of seconds was a trio of Mitsubishi Evos; Danny Traverso with Bernie Webb (Evo IX), Jeff and Catherine Denmeade (Evo VIII) and Stevens and Lemish (Evo VI), the latter sharing driving and codriving duties throughout the weekend.

Conditions were perfect for the morning’s fast flowing roads and tight switchbacks, but dark clouds loomed over the mountain range by the midday service. The flash storm forced the shortening of one stage as leaf litter and gravel was deposited across the downhill run, and hail left the finish line looking like a run on a ski slope.

All crews made it safely through the day, though mechanical dramas saw the Denmeades and Championship contenders Vladimir Berak and Michael Luff (Subaru WRX) fall down the order.

Day two dawned under grey skies, with the first 16km stage mainly dry but the 17km mountain pass again wet. The two major battles at the front continued, between Reeves and Hendy, and Traverso and Stevens/Lemish, with Berak and the Focus RS of Glyn Crimp and Frank Brookhouse close behind.

The rally finished with a fantastic finale; all stages joined together to create two 37km mammoth runs. The first saw the GT-R of Hendy and Sibley suffer a diff or gearbox/transfer issue, unfortunately forcing their retirement, while a Ford Capri left the road but its occupants emerged completely unscathed.

The final run sealed the placings: first to Reeves/Sheldrick, second to Traverso/Webb, and Stevens/Lemish in third.

The podium finish was enough to seal the Championship for the husband and wife team (2437 points) ahead of Berak/Luff (2156) and Reeves/Sheldrick in third (2056). For Snowy River Sprint and Championship results, please see www.australiantarmacrally.com.

Mountain Motorsports would like to thank all the crews for a fabulous and safe Championship; Race Solutions for the faultless running of each round; Rallysafe Status Awareness Systems; official fuel suppliers FuelFuel.

The 2014 Championship series begins with the Mt Baw Baw Sprint on February 22 – 23* (Multi–stage, 200km) followed by the Great Tarmac Rally on October 4 - 5, (Multi–stage, 210km) and finishing with the Snowy River Sprint on November 29 – 30 (Multi–stage, 300km). Mountain Motorsports will also offer two Test and Tune Days on the Mt Baw Baw summit hillclimb, on February 1 and March 29.

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