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The final round of the Tasmanian Rally Series, the Southern Cross Mountain Stages Rally, will see a fast and furious finish to the year.

Conducted by the Motor Sports Club of Tasmnia, competitors will compete over 160km of fast forestry roads around Mathinna.

The outright title is still up for grabs, with a classic north versus south battle looming between Marcus Walkem and Damien Grimwood (Mitsubishi Evo 9) and young charger Sam Kirkland and Matt Best (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. IX). Both drivers have won 2 rounds each for the year, so it is literally winner takes all.

Also fighting for the outright win will be Sam Button and Nathan Walker (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. III), who were impressively fast here last year. Tim Ritchie is also returning to the series after a four year absence in his ‘new’ Subaru Impreza WRX STI, and will be co-driven by the experienced Jason Milner, who is n the running for the outright co-drivers title, along with Grimwood and Best.
Two wheel drive will also see a fierce clash with Darren Clark and Daniel Willson (Mazda RX7) taking on the internationally experienced Stephen Turner  (Ford Falcon XR6), fresh from his run at the British Rally Championship, co-driven by Adrian Hodgetts. Also at the top of the time sheets will be Ben and Bec Sheldrick (Holden Commodore VH), who will be a spectacle to watch with his fully committed driving.
The rally will also incorporate the Thomas Parker Rare Spares Club Rally. Brad Trenham and Kirsty McLachlan, debuting in the ex. Kirkland Mazda Familia BFMR,  Zac Chadwick and Keegan Buckley in their newly built Holden Gemini and Devin Cullis and Renaye Quill in their Hyundai Excel will all be looking to taking the winners trophy home in that division.
Cars will assemble at 8:30am at the Mathinna Recreational Ground, with the first car leaving at 9:30am. Spectator guides are available at msct.com.au

Photo: Sam Kirkland and Matt Best, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. III
Photo credit: Mark Young

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