Race Reviews

Ian Menzies and Bob McGowan take out the Burnett Sprint #2

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Duelling Evos at the Short Course Challenge

Ian Menzies and Bob McGowan have won the KCF Rallysport Short Course Challenge – Burnett Sprint #2 in thrilling fashion with the South East Queensland event going down to the final run.

With 39 competing crews getting multiple attempts at three different stages and their best two contributing to a final score, it was Menzies and McGowan who took the win after not putting a foot wrong all day.

It didn’t come easy at all for the winning duo though as they were locked in a three-way battle for top honours with Tristan Carrigan and Neill Woolley and former MTA Motorsport Australia NSW Rally Champion Glenn Brinkman alongside Steven Richardson for the whole event.

In the first stage, it was Brinkman and Richardson who got off to the better start, with their two fastest times giving them an eight second advantage over Menzies and McGowan, while Carrigan and Woolley were a further six seconds behind.

As Brinkman and Richardson extended their lead over both rival crews by an extra five seconds in the second stage, Carrigan and Woolley managed to close the gap to the second placed Menzies and McGowan to within five seconds, which set up a huge final stage for both entries.

With all crews only getting just one run at the final stage as opposed to three runs in the two stages beforehand, the pressure was on and Menzies and Carrigan delivered – both steering their Mitsubishi Evos to an equal time on the final stage, which confirmed both crews finished second and third respectively.

However, the drama didn’t end there as Brinkman, who had been leading all day, suffered a turbo hose failure on his final run and posted a time 39 seconds slower, demoting them to third place outright and handing Menzies and McGowan the four-second win.

Following the event, a thrilled Menzies admitted his goal was mainly to hold off Carrington after having such a strong start.

“I was surprised with how quickly we got up to speed,” Menzies said.

“Coming into the final stage our goal was to hold Tristan (Carrington) at bay and keep him behind us. Brinkman was too fast to catch at that point.”

In the lower classes, 11th placed Thomas Dermody and John Leahy edged out fellow Ford Escort pilots Brian O’Neill and David Waters to win the RWD Class, while Tim Collingwood and Greg McAndrew enjoyed a comfortable victory in the FWD class.

The event was also hosting the Queensland Novice Rally Series’ second round and it was Richard Harris alongside Hugh Reardon-Smith who dominated the competition for victory.

While Harris and Reardon-Smith cruised to the win, Toyota Celica TA22 pilots Gary Dutton and Giles Harris managed to claim second place after winning an intense battle over a number of crews, including eventual third place getters Matthew Dolan and Alex Cherry in the Holden Gemini.

Dutton and Harris’ second runner-up in the series saw them move to the top of the standings after previous leaders Krystle Power and Brad Hurford failed to finish to the round.

The next round of the Queensland Novice Rally Series’ will be at the Hinterland Rally on 19 September, which also hosts the first round of the 2020 Motorsport Australia Queensland Rally Championship.