Tight battle in NSW Rally Championship
- 14th March 2013, 11:45am
The opening rounds of the 2013 NSW State Rally Championship were run as part of the National Capital Rally – the first round of the 2013 East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship.
Recce on the Thursday took place mainly in steady rain – which left the organisers with no choice but to abandon one of stages scheduled for the Saturday.
With the Ceremonial Start on Friday evening out of the way a total of 16 registered drivers and 10 registered co-drivers started on the Saturday morning, scattered throughout the field of 64 starters.
In the 4WD competition the teams of Richie Dalton/Kirrilee Gentleman and Michael Harding/Julie Boorman (pictured) had a close battle for the day 1 lead with Chris Giddins/Damian Grahame ... with Giddins/Grahame eventually scoring the Day 1 points by a 12 second margin from Dalton/Gentleman with Harding/Boorman a further 6 seconds behind.
The 2WD field saw the team of Stephen Duthie/Damien Hanns leading all the way to claim the points for Day 1 from Dixon/Ford & Forsberg/Hannah.
Day 2 saw the 4WD team of Derek Reynolds/Ray Baker, who had dropped out of Saturday with gearbox issues, off to a flying start – leading Giddins/Grahame by just over 20 seconds after the 1st stage of the day, with Dalton/Gentleman in 3rd place by a further 1.6 seconds.
Harding/Boorman took the next two stages in the Kowen area but, as the crews returned to the midday service, Reynolds/Baker were leading Harding/Boorman by some 22 seconds with Schofield/Barkley a further minute in arrears.
Reynolds/Baker, Harding/Boorman & Dalton/Gentleman were all close over the afternoon stages, until the last stage when Reynolds/Baker dropped time and Harding/Boorman finished the day with 1st place points.
Despite the application of a one minute penalty to Dalton/Gentleman from the 1st stage of the day they held on to earn the 2nd place points while Andrew Penny collected 3rd for the day.
The competition for 2WD points on Day 2 was a battle between Duthie/Hanns & Forsberg/Hannah – with Duthie/Hanns proving victorious.
Photos courtesy of Nigel Raynard / motorsportphotography.com.au
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