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The Federal Tyres Rally Team of Steve Shepheard and John McCarthy took home wins in round two and three of the Queensland Rally Championship (QRC).

They moved into the lead of the championship after two titanic battles during the International Rally of Queensland.

Saturday’s QRC round 2 saw Shepheard battle all day with Mark Neary for a 2.6 second win.

“That was the hardest battle I have ever had … just 100% on it all day, no let up, no room for mistakes, so two and a bit seconds difference in the end is just ridiculous … I mean that’s one miffed corner in 120km,” Shepheard said.

This was followed up by a great battle on the Sunday between all the main championship contenders: Shepheard, Peter Roberts, Mark Neary, Ian Menzies and Marius Swart, with Shepheard finishing the day 3.6 seconds in front of Roberts.

All three QRC rounds this year have been decided by less than 5 seconds, a testimony to how competitive the Queensland rally scene is at present.

But no matter how good the competition was, it all paled into insignificance following a tragic accident earlier in the day that claimed the life of fellow QRC competitor, James McIntosh and badly injuring Grant Brecknell.

“Steve, our team, and all the rally community are all so stunned and saddened by what happened at the event … we just don’t have words right now, other than all our thoughts and wishes are with Grant in hospital, and James’ family and friends,” co-driver John McCarthy said.

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