Young star clinches Batemans Bay Rally win
- 3rd September 2012, 7:16pm
In what was a remarkable performance in the forests around Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast at the wheel of the same Kumho Motorsports Evo used in early rounds of the Bosch ARC this year by Shane Jacobson.
Casmiri was fastest on all nine special stages in the rally over 135 km of competitive running to clinch victory by 2 mins36 seconds leading home Chris Giddins and Damian Graham in a similar Evo 6 machine.
In another remarkable drive Claude Murray brought his immaculate Datsun 1600 home in third just 37 seconds further back, outpointing many more high power four-wheel drive turbo machines.
The rally attracted strong spectator interest at the start and at the various spectator points through the forest throughout the rally with Mayor of Eurobodalla Fergus Thomson joining local state MP for Bega Andrew Constance to flag the cars away at the start on Saturday morning.
Clerk of course for the Kumho Rally of the Bay Colin Fletcher paid tribute to the competitors, officials, locals and the many authorities who made the success of the event possible.
"Without strong support from the competitors in entering the Kumho Rally of the Bay the event would not have been viable and we would be questioning our goal to bring the NSW State Rally Championship back to Batemans Bay but they got right behind the rally and made it a success," said Col Fletcher.
"The many volunteer officials who travelled from all over the state as well as those from the Bay area enabled us to run a rally that all of the crews loved and enjoyed," he added.
"Our sponsors including Kumho Tyres and the many other supporters as well as the local Eurobodalla Shire Council, NSW Forestry, NSW Police and the myriad other commercial supporters ensured the Kumho Rally of the Bay will be back in 2013," he said.
The rally saw 40 of the 58 starters make the finish with Chris Giddins taking the maximum points for the NSW Championship and now provisionally sits in second in the series on 54 points behind Canberra's Mick Harding who finished fourth at Batemans Bay in his Subaru WRX.
Bega's Max Roberts won the Classics class in his RS1800 Escort following the retirement of both Ben Barker's BMW and Ed Mulligan's similar RS1800 Escort.
Batemans Bay and surrounding areas reaped a windfall of close to half a million dollars in economic impact from the Rally over the weekend.
The return of NSW Championship rallying to the South Coast centre deliver more than 1000 bed nights over the weekend at a time when tourism numbers are at their lowest, providing a major boost to a range of Bay businesses.
The rally was the second round of the NSW Rally Championship as well as being a qualifier for the Shannons ACT Rally Championship, the Realistic Car Rentals NSW Clubman Championship, the Rallyschool Hyundai Excel series and is also round two of the East Coast Classic Rally Challenge.
More than 1100 people were involved in the rally including almost 120 competitors, a similar number of service crew, around 150 officials and organisers more than 500 spectators as well as media, sponsors and families of competitors.
Clerk of course Colin Fletcher said the economic impact figures are based on conservative estimates but there is no doubt the rally provided a strong injection of spending into Batemans Bay.
"As rally organisers we are really pleased to be able to put something back into the Batemans Bay economy given the warm welcome the town and the region has given our sport and we look forward to being back in 2013," said Colin Fletcher.
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