South Australian Porsche driver Kevin Weeks blasted his way to early favouritism for the 2007 Aeromil Pacific Classic Adelaide Rally with a searing fastest time in the Commuserv Prologue today.

Weeks posted a time of two minutes 21.4 seconds around the 3.1 kilometre Victoria Park course to beat five-time rally winner Rex Broadbent, in another Porsche, by a suprising  5.3 sec.

Cameron Wearing, in a Ford Capri V8, was just 0.1 sec. slower in third place.

The stage was run in clear, mild weather on part of the Clipsal 500 and former grand prix street circuit only blocks from the city centre and watched by hundreds of spectators.

The win gives Weeks the privilege of being first on the road  tomorrow through seven special stages in the Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley after the official start in Adelaide’s Victoria Square at 9 am.

Around 250 cars from Australia and overseas have entered the four-day rally, which will cover a total of 1000 kms including 250 kms in 34 special stages on Adelaide-region roads described as some of the world’s best by classic car enthusiasts.

Demonstrating Weeks’ dominance of an otherwise-close Prologue, 10 cars from second place to 11th were separated by the same margin as that by which he led Broadbent.

It was an impressive start in a bid to redeem his Aeromil Pacific Classic Adelaide record after retiring his 1975 Porsche 911 RSR from the past two events.

“We’ve completely rebuilt the car since last time and fitted a different engine. This year the preparation has been good and the car is just fabulous,” Weeks said.

“The car is so driveable – you can go quickly, but safely. If you haven’t got a good car you can forget it.

“Winning the Prologue is just bragging rights. It’s nice to know the car is quick, but first here does not make a rally.”

Broadbent was the early leader in the Commuserv Prologue, but had expected tougher competition this year. He was impressed but not surprised when Weeks topped his time so comprehensively.

“We’ve just been hosed by five seconds. It was a fantastic drive (by Weeks) - brave!” Broadbent said.

“It gets harder every year. This year we’ve come in with a good reputation, but it’s a new page.”

Last year’s runners-up to Broadbent, Nick Streckheisen and eight-time Targa Tasmania winner Jim Richards, were respectively 18th and 13th fastest today in Porsche 944 Turbo coupes which were not expected to suit the stop-start Prologue course as much as they will the faster special stages.

The 2007 field comprises cars built between 1920 and 1990 running in four categories, Leader Computers Competition, Aeromil Pacific Regularity, Crown Lager Classic Tour and Shannons Thoroughbred Tour.

High-profile Australian drivers include Formula One world champion Sir Jack Brabham, motorcycle world champion Mick Doohan and Le Mans 24-Hour winner Vern Schuppan.

The eight internationals include Britain’s Sir Paul Vestey in what is believed to be the rally’s most valuable car, a $1 million Ferrari California Spider built in 1959.

The rally is popular with spectators all along the route and is expected to attract thousands to the annual Aeromil Pacific street party and competitor display in Gouger Street, Adelaide, on Friday night.


Top 10 – Competition category
Kevin Weeks (SA) / Bec Crunkhorn (SA) 1975 Porsche 911 RSR 2 min. 21.4 sec.
Rex Broadbent (Vic.) / Michael Goedheer (Vic.) 1974 Porsche 911 RS) 2:26.7
Cameron Wearing (SA) / Rebecca Cochrane (SA) 1971 Ford Capri Perana 2:26.8
Jim Wallace (Qld) / Steve Davies (Qld) 1989 BMW M3 2:29.2
Adam Kaplan (NSW) / David Kaplan (NSW) Giocattolo Group B 2:29.9
Tim Possingham (SA) / Darren Lee (SA) 1989 Nissan Silvia 2:30.3
John Bourke (NSW) / Jim Forrest (SA) Holden Torana L34 2:30.4
Roger Paterson (SA) / Paul Whatnell (SA) 1974 Porsche 911 RS 2:30.5
Ian Wilson (SA) / Jahmiel Taylor (SA) 1978 Triumph TR7 V8 2:30.7
Derek Blacker (SA) / Peter Beall (SA) 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo 2:31.9
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