A cruel twist of fate had us getting up an hour earlier than normal thanks to daylight savings to head out to our most distant rallysprint venue. On the drive up, to compound the grumpy mood from getting up early, the skies appeared grey to the north and rain was starting to fall. Once we reached Kaiwara Rd the skies thankfully were clear and the road looked as good as ever. A solid turnout of 30 drivers, counting the double runners were raring to go, and thanks to Leigh and all the organizers, briefing and Indian file were underway on time.
The road was in good nick with a deep cover of gravel protecting a hard grippy base. It’s a great road, fast & flowing at the beginning, with a few fast crests and hidden corners to test everyone’s testicular dimensions. The second half is a little tighter yet demanding accurate car placement and punishing the times of anyone who gets over enthusiastic with the throttle.
The first run yielded the usual excuses from all the drivers, “Gee that gravels’ deep!” With Juddy setting the pace on the first run with 2:42.07 closely followed by Regan and Brad a second back.
In the up to 1600 2WD class Phil Gurney was setting the pace at 2:56.85 and showed all bar Tony Morrison in the over 1600’s how it should be done.
In over 1600 Tony Morrison set the pace in his Accord at 2:56.30, followed by myself and Steve Carr.
The one and only bit of off-road excitement happened to our resident off-roader Daniel Powell on his first run. Getting caught out by the infamous second to last corner and skidding up to the fence others have totally removed in previous years. Other than a few light scratches his Mitsy GSR was ready to rip for the second run.
On his second run Brad Harris dug deep into his bag of bravery and removed 5 seconds from his first to post a 2:37.68, Jeff found another 3 second to be second fastest followed by Regan with a quick 2:40.97
Over 1600 2WD had a new leader in me with a 2:52.56 closely followed by David Owen in his beautifully prepared Mk2 Escort, then John Weir in the Accord and Steve Carr shaking down the brand new RX3 in preparation for the Marathon Rally. Sadly his engine mounts cried enough at this point, better here than on the rally.
Phil Gurney had a solid lead in 1600’s and was less than a second off leading 2WD overall. Pete Abernethy and Scott Reid were keeping him honest.
So it all came down to the final run, road was nicely swept and it was time for serious commitment.
For overall & 4WD honors, Jeff managed to improve nearly 1 second, 2:38.78 to secure 3rd place whilst scaring yet another co-driver for the day. Ryan Berry did a sneaky and wiped 2.5 seconds off his previous time, showing off to his wife who was co-driving for the run at 2:37.90, taking a well deserved 2nd place.
Fastest time of the day went to Brad Harris with an impressive 2:36.03, over 1.5 seconds quicker than his previous run!
In the over 1600’s I managed to find another 4 seconds to post a 2:48.55 to win the class for a change, closely followed by Tony Morrison in the Accord and Ross Teesdale in the ever sideways Sprinter.
Phil Gurney put on an impressive show at the finish line struggling to slow his car down after posting a 1600 class winning 2:51.19 and impressively would have placed him 3rd in the larger class! Peter Abernethy must have liked the swept road finding another 5 seconds and Scott Reid rounded out the class.
Greg Kennedy took the 1300 class for the day in his 1200 Datsun Coupe. All in all a great day out. Great weather, well organized and run. A special thanks to the organizers and marshals who gave up their Sunday so the rest of us could have a skid.