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Ballarat local Arron Windus and co-driver Steve Fisher won the opening round of the Focus on Furniture Victorian Rally Championship in a Subaru Impreza WRX at the Eureka Rally.

Arron Windus took the VRC win after a consistent drive. (Photo: Craig O'Brien)The finished 19 seconds clear of Glen Raymond and Kate Catford in another Subaru.
 
Kicking off the season with a two-day event, Brendan Reeves, with co-driver Ben Searcy (Subaru), took the early advantage, winning all four morning stages to open up a 37.2 second lead over Glen Raymond/Kate Catford (Subaru), with Windus/Fisher a further 25 seconds adrift.
 
Following the first service break, Reeves continued to stretch ahead, before running out of brakes on SS8 and retiring from the heat.

Raymond's lead inheritance would be short lived when a fuel pump cost him more than a minute on SS9, and the ever-consistent Windus became the new rally leader.

Windus/Fisher went on to claim the heat win, 53 seconds clear of Raymond, with Marcus and Scott Walkem (Mitsubishi) rounding out the top 3.
 
Windus and Walkem, who were running ahead of the main VRC contingent on the road, encountered thick dust on the opening stage on Sunday morning, losing precious time to Reeves, who was back for heat 2 following overnight repairs.

A bent lower control arm further compounded Windus' morning, but his impressive speed was enough to secure victory.

Grant Walker/Steph Richards in an Escort RS1800 were first 2WD home and an impressive 6th outright.

Nathan Berry/Rian Calder showed fantastic pace all weekend to take the honours in the new Fiesta Rally Series and 8th outright, while Anthony Alexander/Paul Dobson were first Hyundai Excel home in the OurAuto Rally Series.

- Craig O’Brien

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