Short Course Rally Championship Event 1
Story by Nathaniel Dillon
Event 1 in Hawkes Bay was your typical short course rally style event with 2 short stages followed by a service after and repeated 3 times to make up the full event. The two stages used were the tight and twisting Te Awanga Sprint Forward and Reverse picked to replicate the conditions normally found in the forests around Jimna.
A beautiful sunny virtual day greeted the 33 drivers all ready to go in their nice shiny H2 front wheel drive Peugeot 205 GTI or VW Golf GTI machines. Although all competitors would be driving in this rally we had a great mix of drivers, co-drivers, event organisers, officials and rally fans from “real life”.
Stage 1 and most were quick out of the blocks with the top 7 covered by less than 9 seconds. Stage 2 and the battle at the top started to heat up with Clayton Hoy (C.Hoy) and Jeff Kilbride (JDJHME) separated by only 0.4 of a second. Next up was service, not sure about others but I know I made the rookie error of forgetting to change my tyres at the first service, which may have affected my performance but realistically I don’t think it made much of a difference.
The second loop of stages and a number of competitors reported some small off road adventures. Stage 3 was also the start of a comeback for Kilbride gaining some time back on leader Hoy, only for all that work to be undone in the next stage losing 23 seconds and dropping down to 6th behind Wade Hickey. Stage 3 also saw Darren Baker put in a great time and finish second on the stage. Coming back into the second service the top end had spread out a little more but there were still some close battles to be had with Brad Jones in 4th only 5 seconds ahead of Ryan Williams in 7th.
Stage 5 and former real life competitor Andrew Pearce (SIK BSTING) put in a stellar stage to finish second and maintain second for the rally, while the competition further back in the field was heating up with MROLLINSON in 16th to SCOTTRALLY in 21st only separated by just over 15 seconds. Down to the final stage and Hoy was able to put in other cracker of a time to finish the event 1stoutright a commanding 36 seconds ahead of Pearce and Kilbride with Baker, Hickey, Jones, Williams, Bryan Armstrong, Arron Beard and MICKNJAIMZ83 rounding out the top 10.
The event was well received and further entries have come for Event 2 which is currently underway and probably nearly finished by the time this goes to press but please feel free to join with the below link as everyone is welcome. There is a 3rd event in this short course championship before we move to a championship that will be based (road styles and itineraries) on some of the events running in the Qld Rally Championship.
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