35 HRA members were among the 45 crews who started the event at Heathcote Showgrounds on Saturday 15 th June. Cool and dry conditions were just about perfect for a quick run through the forest. Some longer than normal stages totalling 160 kilometres of competition made this VCRS round a real challenge on some fast and some twisty roads.
Outright winners were Adrian Stratford/Kain Manning, although they are ineligible to score points in the VCRS. In 2nd place were Tim and Leonie Clark. Next club crew home were Braeden and Emma Kendrick in 7th place with Ray Garrad coming in 14th just over a minute ahead of 15th placed Greg Hilton (nom: MUCC) who co-drove for Rick Thorpe(CCRMIT). Just 21 seconds adrift in 16th place were Michael Trucano/Heli Thaw and in 18th place were Kim Harper/Steuart Snooks just over a minute behind them. Alpine director Owen Polanski with Andrew Roberts co-driving was 20th just 23 seconds ahead of 21st placed Graham Wallis/Conner McLeod in Graham’s Repco Round Australia Cortina with David Wellings/Janine Wilson only 47 seconds behind them in 23rd place. In last place were 2 of the club’s newer members in Darkie Barr-Smith and Jono Forrest after they mistook a passage control for a spectator point and put on a massive show in the raucous V8 Capri instead of stopping to get their road card stamped.
Amongst the 15 crews to DNF were Joel Wald/Cathy Elliott with bent steering which meant they were unable to avoid a tree and Matt DeVaus/Tim Shepherd who also met with some of the close vegetation. Doug Fernie/Dave McKenzie had a gentle rollover which left the car on its roof with a smashed windscreen and a few little dents in the roof. Alan Upton/Mark Laidley were stranded after stage 1 with an alternator that didn’t want to work and President Steve Young who co-drove for Chris Hinks after a half shaft broke in their Datsun 260Z on the second last stage.
In the VCRS Club Score race I think we have closed the gap to NCCA by 57 points, after allowing for the 500 points compensation as organising club which HRA will get for the Victoria Cross rally in November. Whilst results are not yet official or final I believe the scores without the compensatory points are NCCA 1914, HRA 1682 and close behind is WDCC with 1511points. We will need some good scores in coming events to take the club Championship back.
Tim and Leonie Clark on their way to second place. Pic by John Doutch, B Team Rally Media