Michael Ford is on location at Kennards Hire Rally Australia and capturing some great action. Here we take a look at the minor classes coming in to the final stages
ALBERTO HELLER LED THE WRC 2 CLASS AT KENNARDS HIRE RALLY AUSTRALIA BY A MASSIVE 19M 18.4SEC AFTER A DAY OF ATTRITION FOR HIS RIVALS ON SATURDAY.
Building on his overnight lead, the Ford Fiesta R5 driver dominated the action, going quickest on nine of the leg’s 10 stages as he settled into a comfortable groove on the New South Wales gravel.
Heller’s dominant lead was aided by the retirement of his two closest rivals. First to go was his older brother Pedro, who crashed on the first run of the Welshs Creek Reverse test, beaching his Fiesta in a ditch.
Armin Kremer also failed to finish the day. The German retired his Skoda Fabia on the road section before SS16 with a mechanical issue.
Benefiting from the two retirements was Gianluca Linari, who enjoyed a clean run through the stages to bring his Subaru Impreza back to Coffs Harbour in second place.
It has been a thrilling fight for the CAMS Australian Rally Championship battle and as Saturday’s stages come to a close, it is going to go down to the final stage.
MRF Tyres is the control tyre for the CAMS Australian Rally Championship which ensures that a wide range of cars from the latest specification R5 rally cars to two wheel drive historic cars are all gripped by the MRF Tyre product.
The ability for the tyres to work in all conditions as demonstrated as Steve Glenney and co-driver Andy Serandis took sixth overall on the rain affected SS18. The MRF Tyres, having lasted the loop in the forest, they performed well on the low grip conditions of the Super Special Stage well to help give this great result.
For the Australian Championship, with four drivers all standing a chance for the title, it was going to be a thrilling rally.
The MRF Tyres supported team of Eli Evans and Ben Searcy came in to the rally in the lead and looked to have the pace but after an awkward landing on a jump ended Friday early it looked as though the Championship was slipping from his grasp.
But as the rally developed, Evans and Searcy moved back position to retake he Championship taking the fastest time in Saturday stages.
After Evans’ problems on Friday it looked like Harry Bates and John McCarthy could take their first Championship and looked good after ending Friday on top but engine issues ended their rally on Saturday. It is not clear whether they will return for Sunday.
While Glenney and Serandis took the heat win on Saturday after their brilliant performance on SS18 but were not without their dramas.
They had a high speed spin on Friday and lost several minutes after hitting a rock and breaking a wheel on Saturday.
Molly Taylor and Malcolm Reid were also in with a shot of the Championship but their rally ended after a violent accident after an fast landing on Friday. Fortunately the crew were fine.
The MRF Tyres Toyota Corolla S2000 of Wayne Morton and Kirra Penny ended the Friday stages in third place on their return to the ARC.