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The Thirsty Camel rally team claimed 1st 2wd and 2nd Outright in their debut rally at the NDSCC Three Stooges rally at Esk on Saturday 21st August 2010.

Dave Ovenden (Driver) and Cate Kelly (Co-Driver) presented an immaculate green Rx2 rotary with plenty of noise.  Thirsty?  I’m sure it is.  The car was prepared by Pete Carruthers from Rallyprep in Brisbane. 

The Thirsty Camel rally team gave the car its first trial on Thursday at a sponsor’s day event.  The sponsor’s day was a success and it was a great opportunity for driver Dave, to preview how the car was running.  The car ran smoothly and the anticipation was building for the cars first rally on Saturday. 

“With heavy rain the day before we knew we were in for some wet, slippery roads” said Cate.  Not only where the roads wet, but the team hadn’t seen these roads before.  Dave and the team choose to use the new Yokohama A031 and A035 rally tyres from Albion Motorsport.

The first stage provided some teething problems with slippery conditions adding to the challenge of adjusting to a new car.  Time was lost on the first stage when Dave hit the ignition switch by mistake, shutting down the car and sitting idle on a corner within the first 5kms.  By the end of stage 1,  Dave and Cate were starting to feel more comfortable and in tune with the Thirsty Camel rotary.

As the day went on Dave and Cate became more accustomed with the car and this was evident in their  stage times.  The Thirsty Camel Team was putting together some great results and quickly making back ground.  The service crew made some minor changes and adjustments along the way, further perfecting the Thirsty Camel  Rx2.  By the time they roared in to service after stage 4, they could see they were well positioned.   

Disaster struck when the alternator stopped charging on SS6.  There was no spare!  Dave thought this may be the end of the day but the team went to work disconnecting all unnecessary power items and kept the battery on external charge at all services to keep it running.  Pete, Tim and Brett were doing everything in there power to give Dave and Cate the best chance in finishing the rally and keeping their position.  The worry was always going to be the last stage at night where headlights were required.

As they entered the last stage they ran with only two spot lights.  Cate reading the roadbook notes with a torch.  By about the 10km mark the lights started to dim, but Dave kept on pushing with the hope they could make the end of the stage with what light they had.  “Perhaps it was just the extra motivation we needed to get home sooner”, Dave said.  With relief Cate and Dave finished the stage with it having little impact on their performance.   They’d pushed their luck though as the Thirsty Camel Rx2 started to miss as they drove down the main road towards rally Head Quarters.

Dave and Cate were thrilled to bag a great result for the team who have worked so hard in getting the car to the rally.  Dave would like to thank Peter Carruthers from Rallyprep, Colin Moyse, Bruce Tyler,  Phil Laird, Justin Smith, Tim Charalumbus, Cate Kelly and Keith Fackrell for all the help and expertise that went into the car and on race day.  Dave would like to thank Thirsty Camel, Podium Trophies, Rallyprep  and Albion Motorsport for their sponsorship.  With all of this help this result would just not be possible. 

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