It has been a year since we last visited a rally and that is too long! I arrived with not much sleep and my gear all a mess then made my first step into the mud.
With only sneakers on I put on my brave face realizing that I would inevitably end up with wet feet for the rest of the day.
From early reports the drivers had been saying that the super special stage was like a swimming pool. Many drivers were preparing themselves for a day full of difficult conditions.
The right tyres and setup can make all the difference in a rally. You do not want your tyres to wear down early into a stage and loose grip. Consequently if the car does not feel right it can weigh heavy on your mind and affect your performance.
This was the second rally for the Race Recall Team in the “Hyundai Getz” and it was time to get serious. Even though their previous car was an Excel they are both very different cars.
The “Getz” is much taller meaning the centre of gravity is completely different and getting used to a new car often takes time. With all this in mind Jonathan was ready to drive the wheels off this little Hyundai. What the car lacked in show it made up with consistent speed and focused driving.
The Renault Sport Rally Team is one to watch! These boys are animals! The R3 Clio does not look like a fast hatchback but wow can these things move! With a young team at the wheel one thing is for sure, the current dominance of Eli Evans in the Honda backed team will not last for long.
Tom Wilde, alongside co-driver Bill Hayes really push the limit! Several times I saw the car nearly up on 3 wheels! Both cars in the Renault Sport Rally Team have a great aggressive driving style that really makes the team stand out among the crowd.
Jazz power! “I mean K20 power” Having such a grunty engine helps when you are trying to dig holes while winning rally stages. The super special stage had its good spots and bad spots. In this flat area there were only hay bales to worry about hitting and this caused everyone to excel in this part of the track.
The BDA Escort of Grant Walker Parts is one very impressive classic rally car. Not only does it look legit it also has an equally impressive sound to match.
Not everyone was lucky enough to have a marquee at the service park yet this Corolla had only just been finished off the night before and this was to be its first run in a long time.
This is an unlikely pair with only about fifty years between these two cars. From a quick observation it looks like modernization brings square lines and added width!
Nothing says secure like a high tension cable and a couple of locks attached to a tree. This N12 Silvia wasn’t risking being stolen before hitting the stage.
Even though the track was still wet it surprised me how much rock spray was coming off some of these cars.
When you hear that anti-lag in the distance you know that a serious rally car is coming your way. Standing on a precarious corner I watched the cars come directly at me then quickly grab grip and power through the corner. This particular WRX was shooting a bit of flame and I think it had suffered a ruptured exhaust because with every gear change it was dropping small clouds just behind the engine.
At the spectator point sat a rather large hairpin where many cars would bogdown and struggle to get the power on to exit. That wasn’t a problem for Tostevin and Adams.
Our very own gripshiftslide sponsored rally team, Wal Lee and David Lethlean, had made some major suspension adjustment for this rally and although their car looks like it’s running chopped springs at the rear it isn’t. The high front and low rear combination was helping to get more grip and weight into the rear end in the wet conditions.
Constant speed is the only way I can describe Eli Evens driving style. His pace through corners is exceptional!
There is nothing like the thrill of rocks being shot at you from a machine gun or be it a 4wd rally car! Even when you you think you have found a safe place the sudden onset of rock spray means you have to take the shot or duck and hide like a little girl…I did both!
There was plenty of action on the Saturday with some decent jumps and better weather. This VH Commodore has not seen this much air since jumping train tracks in the 80’s.
Such a classic rally car! This WRX was flying and not only making good time but also entertaining the crowd.
The unstoppable team of Neil Bates and Taylor were at it again! Winning seems to be in Neil’s DNA.
The sound of this Mitsubishi Evo was truly terrifying! imagine a dragon that has just been attacked by a bunch of savages with swords! The sound was something like that, with added missile like stones being sprayed at the same time.
Polaris and Can-Am is growing force within rally. It is one of the easiest ways to get into rallying, these vehicles are under $30,00 ready to race!
The only thing i do not like about the Polaris is their sound. With a sound that can only be likened to an angry vacuum cleaner! this not the sound i was expecting from these buggy like rally cars.
Rally Victoria always puts on a great show at Lardner park! For the full results of the event< Click here > You can follow up on our official GripShiftSlide sponsored driver (Wal Lee) and the whole DFA rally team via their facebook page. We hope to cover more rally events in 2014 plus driver profiles coming soon! So keep your eyes on the blog.
Thanks for reading,
Extra Photos courtesy of James Rooke | Mini Finger Productionz (< Check him out on Facebook!)