He may have rolled out of the event, but Luke Anear made big gains in his Ford Fiesta R5 at the Eureka Rush.
Anear debuted the car in Tasmania, and then contested the Batemans Bay state round in NSW to get more seat time in the car.
At Ballarat, he was keen to up his speed in the car, and started in strong fashion.
The M-Sport built Fiesta R5 has three anti-lag turbo modes, and prior to last weekend Anear had only driven the car in 'mode 1'.
For testing and the event, it was upped to 'mode 3', which provided more power, and more drivability.
"In Tasmania I spun the car twice in mode 1, just getting used to how the car handles," Anear said.
"Mode 3 makes the car much more fun to drive, with a big increase in performance."
On the first gravel stage of the rally on Sunday morning, Anear and co-driver Andy Sarandis were an impressive sixth fastest, just 0.5 of a second behind Lewis Bates, and faster than the Subaru of Simon Evans.
But it turned pear shaped on the following stage when he innocuously rolled the car on a sweeping right hander.
"We were rapt with our time on the first stage and pushed quite hard," Anear added.
"Then we backed the pace off a bit on the second stage, but cutting a cornering a bit too much tipped the car over twice.
"It's disappointing to not finish, but it was another great learning curve and shows us that we have were able to up our pace in the car."
Anear's team will now repair the car for the next round of the Australian Rally Championship in South Australia in September.
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