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Kevin Weeks pushed his Porsche RSR to the limit through the picturesque Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley to claim a narrow lead on Day One (sponsored by Peter Lehmann Wines) of the 2007 Aeromil Pacific Classic Adelaide Rally today.

Weeks completed the seven special stages and 42.9 kilometres of racing on closed public roads with a margin of just 12.6 seconds over Sydney’s Adam Kaplan, driving a Giocattolo Group B coupe.

Five-time winner and defending champion Rex Broadbent was third, ahead of Jim Richards, both drivers in Porsches.

Only one incident was reported as the field of 250 classic cars in four categories roared through the wine-making areas of Gumeracha, Mount Pleasant, Tanunda and Lyndoch after a 9 am start in Adelaide’s Victoria Square.

West Australian couple Zac and Christine Caudo tipped their 1980 Holden Commodore on its side through a slow corner on the last stage of the day, Corkscrew. They were not injured and the car is expected to be repaired for tomorrow.

After retiring from his previous two attempts at the rally, Weeks was delighted with his strong start to the four days of competition.

“We’re pretty happy about that – the competition is incredibly hot,” he said.

“Particularly because Day One is not our favourite day. I don’t particularly like the Upper Hermitage and Corkscrew stages, but Corkscrew is one of Rex’s favourites.

“We had no real problems today except a crushed brake duct that caused the left-front to overheat slightly until we repaired it during a break.

“I just want to finish this rally because I haven’t had much luck so far. We’re very much aware it’s a long event and we could go from a peacock to a feather dusty very quickly.”

Now in its 11th year, Aeromil Pacific Classic Adelaide is described as one of the world’s great classic car events because of the quality of closed public roads, the wine-country scenery and the many social activities for crews after each day’s driving.

Day Two, sponsored by Leader Computers, will take the field through the Southern Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula on nine timed special stages, including two new ones, Carrickalinga and Mount Compass.

The cars will stop on the Victor Harbor Esplanade for lunch before returning to Adelaide’s Gouger Street restaurant precinct for the Aeromil Pacific Classic Adelaide Crown Lager Gouger Street party, which is expected to attract up to 30,000 people.

RESULTS – DAY ONE

Top 5 – Competition category
Kevin Weeks (SA) / Bec Crunkhorn (SA) 1975 Porsche 911 RSR - 1 min. 03.6 sec. behind target time
Adam Kaplan (NSW) / David Kaplan (NSW) Giocattolo Group B -  1:16.3
Rex Broadbent (Vic.) / Michael Goedheer (Vic.) 1974 Porsche 911 RS) - 1:16.4
Jim Richards (Vic.) / Barry Oliver (Tas.) 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup – 1:16.7
Steve Hoinville (Vic.) / Robert Gilpin (Vic.) 1973 Ford Escort RS – 1:23.3
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