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A third* place on Heat One of the National Capital Rally, ACT, keeps Subaru do Motorsport team positioned for valuable points in Round Three of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship 2017.

Molly Taylor took third place for Subaru on Day 1 of the Nat Cap Rally. (Photo: Peter Whitten)Molly Taylor and co-driver Bill Hayes, in the Production Rally Car (PRC) class All-Wheel Drive WRX STI, went into the heat defending second place in the championship.

A modest fourth place on the day’s first stage behind local hero Harry Bates, championship leader Nathan Quinn; and Eli Evans, debuting his new Mini Cooper, gave little indication of Subaru do’s potential on SS2, Hibernian Reverse 1.

Taylor blasted the field, taking first on stage and overall, leaving Subaru do with a narrow 2.3 second margin.

But after glancing a gatepost on the day’s equal longest stage, the 25.33 kilometre SS3 Wamboin 1, the WRX STI’s rear bumper was left hanging by a thread, but didn’t impede progress as they finished third on stage – just 0.4 of a second off leader Harry Bates.

Two quick blasts around the repeated 1.69 kilometre SS4 and SS5 placed Subaru do third overall, going into lunchtime service.

With ever trusty cable ties employed to restore the rear bumper’s former glory – and little else to bother the technicians thanks to the WRX STI’s seamless performance – the stage was set for a super-tight trio of afternoon tests.

*The top three placings stayed stable, but a possible one-minute penalty – after the Heat finished - for early check-in to a morning stage, threatened the Subaru result, possibly relegating the position to fourth and setting the stage for an even tighter battle tomorrow.

Molly said: “We had a little moment on SS3 but fortunately the rear bumper damage was purely cosmetic and the boys put the cable ties to good use in service.

“Other than that it was actually a really good day, especially when you factor in Harry’s motivation in front of his home crowd, Eli showcasing his new car and Nathan defending his championship lead.”

Tomorrow’s Heat Two covers an additional six stages over 60.46 competitive kilometres.


*PROVISIONAL RESULTS HEAT ONE – NATIONAL CAPITAL RALLY

1.         Bates/McCarthy, Toyota Corolla S2000, 1:09:34.5
2.         Quinn/Searcy, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 1:09:50.8
3.         Taylor/Hayes, Subaru WRX STI, 1:11:03.9

- Team release

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