BATES PORSCHE TAKES LEAD AS CAVALLI RUNS OUT OF ROAD
Rally leader from day one, Andrew Cavalli has run out of road on special stage 20 just out of the Adelaide Hills town of Macclesfield, damaging his car extensively and putting him out for the rest of the day.
The Porsche 911 of Ric Bates and Jenny Brittan now take the lead but are being shadowed by the Escort of Peter Kyriakidis and the Capri V8 of David McDonough only seconds behind the yellow 911.
Ironically, at the lunchbreak, Bates had conceded first place to the flying Ford.
"There¹s no way we can beat Cavalli," said Rick.
"Our car has been built for Marathon rallies, and it¹s no match for his Escort."
With this sudden change of fortune, Bates¹ task for the remainder of the event is to hold off a hard-charging group behind him, all separated by mere seconds and all looking to improve on their positions.
Queenslanders Richard Anderson (Alfa Montreal) and John Spencer (Datsun 1600) are now in fourth and fifth places and have enjoyed a close tussle all day, swapping times and stories of bravery on the fast flowing stages.
"The Datsun really suffers from a lack of top speed on these roads" said Spencer.
"We¹re sitting in fifth gear at maximum revs a lot of the time, but I¹m not letting Richard get away."
In the ŒParade¹ section of the event, Australian legend Kevin Bartlett has rejoined the race after fitting a new clutch to the Ford GT40 overnight.
"I¹m having a ball, but we¹re not out to prove anything" said Bartlett. "The car¹s not really set up for these type of roads, but it sounds great!"
Provisional Top Ten Saturday 20th November (after 19 stages)
1. Rick Bates/Jenny Brittan Porsche 911 2. Peter Kyriakidis/John Caldicott Ford Escort - +0:20 3. David McDonough/Ian Lawson Ford Capri Perana - +0:34 4. Richard Anderson/Bruno Fulcher Alfa Romeo Montreal - +1:00 5. John Spencer/Tony Best Datsun 1600 +1:14 6. Scott Kent/Leigh Kent Ford Mustang - +1:38 7. Jeff Beaumont/Jim Caudle Porsche 911 - +2:08 8. Brian Dermott/Linda Dermott Austin Healy 3000 MKII - +3.40 9. Mark Forgie/Peter Kowalenko Porsche 911 - +3:52 10. Mike Batten/Nick Fennell Volvo PV544 - +4:33