Tight at the top of Rally Victoria

Tough opening day at Rally Victoria for Simon Evans

Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans has struck dramas in the opening stages of the final round of the Australian Rally Championship – Rally Victoria outside Warragul.

The battle for outright standings at the end of the first four Special Stages is extremely tight with Justin Dowel just a fraction of a second ahead of Glen Raymond.

Evans experienced drive-train problems causing unpredictable handling from his Tankformers Subaru and he left the road. Co-driver Sue Evans had to get out of the car and push it back onto the roadway causing them to lose well over 20 minutes.

Stepping up to take the lead after the first two stages was Raymond. The Warragul resident proved fastest by only 0.07 of a second ahead of Berwick resident Justin Dowel.

Matt Lee, Dowel’s co-driver was happy with the times they set, and confident heading into the Super Special Stage this evening. “We’re pretty happy with the rhythm we’ve achieved on these 2 forest stages. We love Super Special Stages, so we’ll see if we can take the lead from the Raymond’s.”

Dowel beat Raymond on the Lardner Park Super Special Stage to lead by only 0.02 of a second. Right behind Raymond is Mark Pedder with Steve Shepheard also in striking distance.

An early start tomorrow will see the crews hit the roads as the sun rises. With wet weather predicted, the event is still very much available for the taking.

RESULTS: After Stage 4

1 Justin Dowel Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 32:07.4
2 Glen Raymond Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X 00:00.2
3 Mark Pedder Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 00:13.1
4 Steve Shepheard Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo X +0:30.4
5 Leigh Hynes Subaru Impreza WRX +0:32.3
6 Ryan Smart Toyota Corolla Sportivo +0:34.8
7 Eli Evans Honda Civic Type R +1:22.5
8 Michael Boaden Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +1:31.9
9 Bruce Fullerton Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI +2:11.2
10 Mike Bailey Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI +3:07.1

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