Wilson brothers take first QRC win in Manumbar Rally


Brothers Brayden and Blake Wilson have won their first-ever rally, the SR Automotive Manumbar Rally.  The young pair showed maturity and speed beyond their years steering their new Mitsubishi Evo 9 (Alljap Auto Parts) to victory amongst a stellar field of competitors.


Brayden Wilson / Blake Wilson – Image by CH Images

The second round of the P3 Solutions CAMS Qld Rally Championship always has a sweet spot amongst rally crews, attracting well over 40 entries of quality teams boosted by a range of new and returning teams coming back to the sport.   Entries coming from as far north as Townsville and south as Armidale for the SE Qld location.  Starting in Nanango and finishing in Manumbar, cars tackled over 120kms of gravel roads that provided both thrills and a serious challenge for those wanting the championship.

Ryan Smart /Hugh Reardon-Smith – Image by CH Images

Second place for the event, and first 2WD was the talented Ryan Smart with Hugh Reardon-Smith in a classic Datsun Stanza.  Ryan driving like a God and gaining respect amongst his peers in an outstanding performance.


Melinda Bergmann /Larisa Biggar – Image by CH Images

Third outright were the pair of Melinda Bergmann and Larisa Biggar in a Mitsubishi Evo 9 (Rallycars.com.au), keeping out of trouble while maintaining the pace.  Coming fourth were Marius Swart and Alan Stean driving their VW Polo S2000 (Inspirations Paint Capalaba), whom managed without a working clutch for the final stage to bank some valuable championship points.

A number of contenders for the win suffered troubles throughout the day pushing the limit.  Notably Glen Brinkman and Harvey Smith (Mitsubishi Evo 9) were leading on the penultimate stage, with pressure from Wilson behind, however a puncture on the last stage meant they came away with fifth.


Dominic Corkeron / Dennis Neagle – Image by SWC Photography

Guiding their immaculately prepared BMW E30 for the Clubman win was experienced navigator turned driver Dominic Corkeron with Dennis Neagle by his side.   Second was Rhys Simmons and Mick Baker in a Hyundai Excel with third Craig Mole and Simon Teed (Datsun 1600) whom were leading clubman early in the rally however suffered problems in the third stage.


Michelle Van Der Wilk / Kevin O’Connor – Image by CH Images

It was a close battle for the Novice category.  Townville pair Christopher Carney and Lacey Wade (Toyota Corolla) were leading novice however in a heartbreaking moment went off road failing to finish the final stage.   Michelle Van Der Wilk and Kevin O’Connor (Subaru WRX) were applying the pressure and achieved her second victory in as many rallies.  Newcomers Gary Dutton and Jennifer Garth (Toyota Celica) finished second and Marcus Connelly and Ray Priest (Datsun 1600) rounding out third.

The fastest Junior Driver went to Ryan Williams in a Hyundai Excel and fastest Junior Co-driver, event winner Blake Wilson.

The event organisors Brisbane Sporting Car Club had plenty to manage considering a multi-venue event with a large field however handled the challenge in a manner that earned high praise from competitors, volunteers and the local communities.

The Wilson brothers are now leading the P3 Solutions Qld Rally Championship on 45 points, with Swart/Stean at 38 and Bergmann/Biggar 29.  The next round will move just south of the border to Bonalbo for the Accent Benchtops Working Dog Rally which will also be a round of the MTA NSW Rally Championship.

Media release supplied by a competitor.