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A thrilling final day of competition in the 2006 Classic Adelaide Rally has seen the Team Racetune Services Ford Escort Mk 1 of Reg Marratt and Matthew Woods claim second position in the Classic Competition Section.

Starting the day a mere 4.7 seconds adrift of the third placed Austin Healey 100/6 BN4 of Paul and Christine Freestone, the Team Racetune Escort vaulted into third after the first stage of the day (SS25 Montacute) with a time 22 seconds faster than the Freestones.  The next stage, SS26 Mt Lofty, saw the Healey crew reduce the gap by five seconds while overnight Classic Competition leaders Len and Gayle Cattlin soon struck mechanical trouble in their 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302.  Their retirement shortly after SS27 Piccadilly promoted the Ford GT40 of Rob Sherrard and Peter Roberts into the Classic Competition lead with the Team Racetune Escort now second and the Freestones third.

The longest stage of the rally, SS29 Paris Creek Long at 24.58 kilometres, saw Marratt and Woods a mere 3.3 seconds off cleaning the stage and extending their lead over the Freestones to 25 seconds.  SS30 Chapel Hill virtually sealed second place for the Team Racetune Escort as they won the stage by 2.3 seconds over the GT40 and added a further five seconds to the margin over third.

SS31 Clarendon was the final stage and Reg and Matthew were second behind the Porsche 911 of O’Neill and Bode, guaranteeing them second in the Classic Competition.  Making it a Ford one two, the GT40 of Sherrard and Roberts finished 1 minute 23.2 seconds in front, with the Freestone Healey 42.8 seconds behind the Escort in third.   

“It doesn’t get much better than this,” said Reg Marratt after crossing the finishing ramp.  “After all the mechanical dramas last year, this is brilliant!  Full credit to the team – everyone has worked so hard for this.  The car is a lot lighter this year and this engine that Rolly (Racetune Services) has built is fantastic!”

“The car has run very well for the whole rally and apart from the brakes not being quite right on the Prologue and some minor issues with third gear on Friday, everything has been great,” enthused Matthew Woods.

“Reg drove pretty hard today and it has paid off.  Full marks to the GT40 guys - we were only 3.3 seconds behind them on Paris Creek Long which is not bad for a 24 kilometre stage!  This result is a great reward for all the hard work put in by the team.”

The Team Racetune Escort also won their class 4MSB by just under nine minutes over the 12th placed 1972 BMW 2002 Ti of Steve McClintock and Jann Skinner.  Their overall time would have put them in 18th outright for the event when compared to the times set by the much quicker Late Classic Competition cars and is a very respectable result.

Team Racetune Services would like to thank everyone involved in the preparation and running of the car, as well as the many officials and organisers of the 2006 Classic Adelaide Rally.

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