Leg 3 -- Ordynski takes deserved victory. South Australian Ed Ordynski has battled against demanding roads and fierce competition to claim a deserved victory at the Rally of Canberra while Mitsubishi has taken a clean sweep of the podium with ...
Leg 3 -- Ordynski takes deserved victory.
South Australian Ed Ordynski has battled against demanding roads and fierce competition to claim a deserved victory at the Rally of Canberra while Mitsubishi has taken a clean sweep of the podium with Scott Pedder second and Geof Argyle third.
The battle for the Asia-Pacific Champion fell the way of Italian Nico Caldarola who placed a strong fifth outright on his first event in the brand new Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII.
Leg 3 Subaru Rally of Canberra
With nothing to lose Possum Bourne powered away from the start line of the morning's first stage desperate to put a dent in the one and a half minute lead of Ordynski. Bourne claimed the fastest stage time on three of the opening four stages despite looking ragged over the course, shrubbery lodged in the roof top air vent after a close encounter with the scenery.
The seventeenth stage of the event, the 25.75km East West, dramas dropped Bourne's Impreza down the order and into retirement after the gearbox broke and jammed in second. The damage is suspected to have blown the turbo with reports of thick blue smoke pouring from Bourne's car during the stage and on the transport.
But it was the second stage of the day that was to prove the most difficult, with five top line drivers out of the action. Spencer Lowndes, third overnight, was eager to maintain a strong pace to maintain the podium placing but a difficult crest caught the Victorian out, the Lancer spearing off the road and unable to make it back to the course.
Malaysian Saladin Mazlan powered over the stage eager to pick up his pace further but a rock ended his day when it tore the front suspension out of the Hyundai Accent WRC. "It happens, we wanted to drive quickly but we are disappointed because we were going well," commented Mazlan.
Privateer Queenslander Chris Atkinson ended his rally in a big way after diving off a fast corner when a ball joint snapped, the damage is reportedly significant and could cast doubt over the teams ability to have the car back on the road for Queensland next month.
While Ordynski maintained a solid but conservative pace at the head of the field a battle royale was waging between Scott Pedder and Kiwi Geof Argyle. Argyle led in his Group A Mitsubishi Lancer until the third stage of the day before a hard charging Pedder moved ahead and held on to take the second podium placing.
"For three years we've never made it past Friday so it's great to be here on a sensational day in Canberra," commented Pedder. "The pace of the ARC crews just proves how well the Championship is working and how competitive our leading teams are against the best Internationals."
Martin Lintott proved the surprise package of the day. Down in ninth overnight Lintott charged ahead and took advantage of the dramas unfolding around him to overhaul Nico Caldarola on the second stage to hold on for fourth outright.
"I certainly drove harder today because I wanted to catch Caldarola and Yamaguchi, which we did. You have to drive very fast all rally though because you never know what is going to happen, just look at the all the dramas for Mitsubishi and Subaru."
Caldarola ended up finishing in fifth, a fine result considering the limited preparation and testing performed by the team on their new Lancer Evo VII prior to the rally. "It was a very hard rally, but this morning we hit a kangaroo and did some damage to the car. We have some better feeling with the car in afternoon," Caldarola added.
The result for Caldarola puts him into the lead of the Asia-Pacific Championship on 14 points with his main competitors Mazlan and Karamjit Singh both out of the event. Behind Caldarola New Zealander Brian Green claimed second in the APRC race with 6 points, finishing seventh outright behind Australian David Hills.
In the front-wheel drive race Tod Reed managed to hold of local Canberran Doug Wright, both drivers in Proton Satria's while Warwick Rooklyn ended a tough event in his Group A Daihatsu Charade in last place.
The testament to the severity of the conditions and the truly treacherous nature of the Canberra roads is the final classifications with only 15 of the original 43 crews managing to remain in the rally, the lowest number of crews to finish the event since the demanding 1997 Rally of Canberra.
In the manufacturer's Championship race Mitsubishi will open a significant lead of Subaru with Ordynski and Pedder topping the podium with Lintott in fourth and local Michael Thompson in eighth the only Subaru's to make it into the top ten. (Note: Final points scores to be confirmed and posted)
The Australian Rally Championship switches it's focus back to the Super Series and the battle for the Driver's Championship, the next Round in tropical Caloundra on Queensland's sunshine coast over the weekend of the 15th and 16th June while the Asia-Pacific Championships heads to the Pacific island and New Caledonia at the end of this month (31st May -- 2nd June).