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The South Australian Synergy Rallysport Team made a podium finish by scoring third place overall in the ARC National 4WD Series round of the 2013 Scouts Rally SA.  

Driver Josh Doyle and co-driver Kate Lehmann combined to achieve a career best performance. Josh and Kate are backed by a highly professional and dedicated service crew and this result is a sweet reward for all the hard work.

The official start of the ARC 4WD series was two quick passes around the Super Special Stage at the Gawler Sports and Community Centre. The Synergy team posted some great times sitting in 5th spot overnight behind a previous ARC champion, Justin Dowel.

After a positive start on Friday night the ultimate test was still to come out in the forest and council road stages. It was a frustrating start to the day as Josh had to adjust his driving style due to a gear box issue. With a car still not fully developed for the Unrestricted P5 Class the team was able to find some speed later in the day; the SS8 Tower Road 1 stage was the stand out for the pair allowing them to grab the 4th fastest time. “We really enjoyed Tower Road it was by far our favourite forest stage and we enjoyed every moment of it.’’ Josh said. It was a positive end to the day in Dewells 2; the team finished Heat 1 with a respectable 6th outright for their first ever attack in a national round.

Josh and Kate, in their second year of competition, have been working countless hours on their pace notes to gain more consistency. ‘The development of our notes has been a high priority and has come a long way, we both feel we have found a system that’s works and with more experience we hope it will only get better.’  Kate explained.

In Heat 2, beginning on Sunday, the crew started out in promising fashion easing themselves into the first council road stage. The second stage of the day proved to be the toughest of the event; the crew were the first car on the scene of a major incident. The crew did their best to lend assistance whilst waiting for help to arrive. With safety being the team's biggest focus, a crew action plan was in place for arriving at such an accident. The activation of rallysafe, clear communication with the next crew on scene regarding the need for urgent FIV and fire back up, Kate's quick first aid response and utilisation of her nursing skills and knowledge and Josh's proactive actions of putting out a small engine fire assisted the fellow competitors. Once under control the team was instructed to head to Service Park.

Shaken but not stirred both Josh and Kate decided they wanted to finish the rally and get to the end. "Our goal was always to finish the rally and we wanted to do it for our team, supporters and ourselves. Sometimes when things knock you down, you need to get back on it, remind yourself why the love for the sport is still there and just focus on the road in front of you." Kate explained. "The decision to continue was an important one in so many ways" Josh said. "The response from the service crew was overwhelmingly supportive, and so once again we were back in the rally"

Derived times were allocated to the crews missed stages and the team finished off the 16km Goldfields stage and gruelling 31km Tweeden stage to complete the Heat and event. It was a day of surprises and mixed emotions but through it all the Synergy Rallysport team was able to finish 3rd outright for the Heat, and gain third spot overall giving them their very first podium in a national series event.

The Synergy Rallysport Team would like to thank its supporters AutObarn Mile End, Action Line Marking (SA), SA Motorsport Tyres, Check it Out Graphics, Jamestown Engineering and Manufacturing, Team Catford, Synergy Squad Members and thanks Youth Opportunities for allowing us to represent them at the event.  

Keep in touch with the team at synergyrallysport.com and like them on facebook facebook.com/synergyrallysport.

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