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Following on from their mishap at Rally SA, the Velocity Racing team was forced to miss the Robertstown Rally while they repaired their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III.

When the Kuitpo Forest Rally was postponed, they also took the opportunity to upgrade the ECU to a ViPEC unit, allowing better tuning capabilities and the ability to run anti-lag.

“We felt that the cars biggest weakness was a lack of throttle response,” said driver Lewis Parin, “we made the decision to upgrade to an ECU capable of the anti-lag function which uses some tricky software to retard ignition timing, allowing the turbo to keep spinning even when you’re off the throttle. This results in instant response.”

The team tested the new functions, and shook the car down following the repairs, at the Walky Park Rallysprint in early November.

“We were really pleased with how the car responded following the upgrades,” said co-driver Sarah Parin, “the day also allowed us to take some friends and family for rides which is always great fun.”

Following the positive testing of their car, the team were feeling confident heading into the final event for the season, the Kuitpo Forest Rally. Their ultimate goals were to drive consistently, finish the event, and ideally manage a podium placing in the South Australian Rally Championship (SARC) component, and hopefully win the Clubman component.

The road conditions varied throughout the event. The first morning passes over Christmas Hill and Bells Gully were incredibly wet and muddy, combined with some dry and rocky sections. However, the Knotts Hill, Jupiter Creek and McIntyres stages were mostly dry and dusty in comparison.

“It was very tricky to pick where the grip was as the roads went from dry to boggy slush in a matter of metres,” Lewis commented, “essentially driving with caution was the only safe way for us to tackle the stages.” The road conditions did improve throughout the day, on their second pass of morning stages the team picked up nearly 30 seconds on their times.

Overall it was a fantastic event, the team only encountered one minor problem during the day, after a solenoid that operated their anti-lag system broke. They were very pleased to finish 4th outright in the SARC component, and 1st outright in the Clubman.

“We were so close to the podium finish we were aiming for, but well done to the Nott’s who just managed to get past us on the final stages,” said Sarah. Lewis added, “it was a sensational event, the Kuitpo roads are my favourite of the championship. After coming off a silly mistake at Rally SA, it was great to get some confidence back by sticking to our plan of a conservative drive, and finish with a good result.”

The team would like to say a big thankyou to Mike Dale Automotive, along with SA Motorsport Tyres and Infinity Signs.

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