Arron Windus' 2020 rally season was over almost as soon as it started, when the Subaru ace crashed on the fourth stage of the Rally of the Bay.
Windus won the 2019 Victorian Rally Championship at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRX, impressing even further by setting top five ARC times in last year's Eureka Rally.
A late indiscretion on October's Akademos Rally did major damage to the Subaru, but concerted effort meant the car was back together and ready for 2020.
Resplendent in a replica Possum Bourne livery, the car (and Windus) had to wait until July for the season to get underway.
Sitting in third place after the opening three stages of the Rally of the Bay, Windus made a small driving error early in the fourth stage, but it was one that had serious consequences.
In fifth gear, he clipped a small verge on the inside of a corner, over-corrected a little too much, and hit a bank head-on on the outside of the corner.
It was only a small mistake, but at that speed, things happen quickly.
"We were in fifth gear and the initial impact was 18g," Arron says.
The car rolled and came to a stop on its wheels, but the damage was severe and he and co-driver Daniel Brick – although uninjured – were going nowhere.
Arron Windus' Subaru Impreza WRX was badly damaged in an accident at Batemans Bay. Photo: Peter Whitten
"It was a strange accident because I didn't think I'd done a lot wrong," Windus said.
"The car was badly damaged though, and the body shell is pretty much unfixable."
Luckily, the Windus family had a spare Impreza GC8 shell back in Ballarat, so the rebuild of the car will begin shortly.
It means it's unlikely that the younger Windus will be back in action this season, but the way rallying in Victoria is being held back by COVID-19, he may not actually miss a lot of rallying.
It will give Windus the time to take stock of his rallying, and perhaps even his flamboyant 'Colin McRae-like' driving style.
There's no doubting the Ballarat flyer has the speed – he has dominant rally wins to prove that.
The next step in his progress is to harness that speed and combine it with consistency. Then, who knows what's possible?
One thing's for sure, it'll be worth watching.
By clicking "Subscribe Now" you agree to receive news, offers and updates on RallySport Magazine.
If you do not wish to receive marketing communications, you can update your preferences in My Account.
We will commence charging your payment method after the 7 day free trial expires.
If you cancel after expiry of your trial, cancellation will take effect from the end of your current monthly subscription period.
You will not be refunded any fees paid to RallySport Magazine unless otherwise set out in the terms and conditions.
Welcome to RallySport Magazine VIP Membership.
Get ready for your rally news experience to completely transform.
Start browsing news, exclusive VIP content or check out your account.