All to play for as Adelaide Rally reaches half-way
There was no shortage of drama on the second leg of Day 2 at the Shannons Adelaide Rally as the competition headed deeper into the Adelaide Hills for the afternoon.
After the first regroup the competitors then took on Ansteys Hill (SS14), Chain of Ponds 2 (SS15), Kanmantoo (SS17) and Doctors Creek Long (SS18).
The afternoon’s action-packed running took place over 19km, with no one leaving anything on the table on some of the most famous stretches of tarmac in South Australia.
Despite one stage being downgraded to a transport-only section, this didn’t turn down the heat amongst the competitors with two of the class battles separated by mere seconds.
Friday sees a further nine stages as the rally continues, starting the day at Norton Summit (SS19) and finishing with Eagle on the Hill (SS27).
Ben Calder and Steve Glenney continue to impress at the front of Modern Competition in their #762 Mitsubishi Evo, leading at the end of Day 2.
Calder and Glenney took what was a 20-second advantage earlier in the day to finish up 31-seconds clear of anybody else in a commanding performance.
The Evo pair finished Doctors Creek Long (SS18) two-seconds behind the stage winners, Peter Rullo/Dennis Sims, but the second-place result for the stage was another shower of consistent form by the overall leaders.
In a Mitsubishi Evo 9, Julian Newton and Nicholas Wotton held second position throughout the day as they try to catch the leaders.
There was a late change for third position as Jeff Morton and Daymon Nicoli moved into the final podium place after Ansteys Hill (SS14).
The 2019 Porsche GT2 RS of Morton and Nicoli vaulted ahead of the Evo 10 of Dean Lillie/John Lilleyman, demoting the latter to fourth.
However, the Lillie/Lilleyman combo were only 1.3s shy of third at the end of SS18, with Daniel Traverso and Matt Dillon completing the top five in an Evo 9, a minute behind.
There was big drama in Classic Competition but nothing was getting in the way of the 1985 Hartge of Matthew Selley and Hamish Mckendrick at the head of the field.
Selley and Mckendrick won the last two stages of the day which helped them to only slightly extend their lead from 2.6s to 7.5s at the end of the day over Roger Paterson and Richard Geue.
Paterson and Geue pushed hard in a 1974 Porsche 911RS to over-turn their rivals, with the pair trading times closely on the stages, but the Selley/Mckendrick had the edge.
Roger Lomman and Anne Bainbridge were a further 47-seconds back from the leading duo claiming third at the end of SS18 in a 1972 Datsun 240z.
Third position continues to chop and change with Tim Pryzibilla and Rick Powell in fourth only 3-seconds shy of the Datsun while the BMW E30 of Peter Gluskie and Samantha Winter runs strong in fifth.
Justin Perkins and Andrien Brabbins hold sway in Modern Challenge after a consistent run on the afternoon stages with the battle for the rest of the podium separated by less than two seconds.
An intense final stage saw the #645 Subaru combination of Perkins and Brabbins finish up 19s clear of their nearest rival with good form across the day.
That 20-second cushion is in fact unchanged from the first regroup earlier in the day, showing the intense nature of the Modern Challenge fight with no-one yielding time.
There was a change for second place on SS18 as Gordon Christie and Nigel Mcgaffin leaped back ahead of the Audi S3 of Nathan Robbins/Alex Johnson, the pair squabbling over second position throughout the day.
Christie/Mcgaffin won that particular battle in their Volvo S60, with the Robbins/Johnson combo a mere 0.8s back in third.
A slow run on Chain of Ponds 2 (SS15) for the Lotus of Robert and Alex Bryden saw them give up fourth place to Ben Auld and Lucy Barker.
Driving a Porsche 911 997.2 GT3 CS, Auld and Barker clawed back more than 10-seconds from the competition since the first regroup to end SS18 fourth, half a second back from third.
The Brydens sit fifth, a further 13-seconds back with their #641 Lotus Exige.
Lachlan Cox and Sam Martin continue to lead the Classic Challenge field with a commanding win on the day’s final stage.
The 1970s Ford pairing claimed a seven-second triumph on Doctors Creek Long (SS18) to finish Thursday, however, the competition is still very much at play.
As the afternoon progressed the pointy end of the field changed shape, with Dean Cook and Simon Richards sliding down the order to third from second.
This came as the Will Coulter and Andrew Colliver 1986 Toyota Sprinter made its way into second, though the margins were very slim.
Coulter and Colliver were six-seconds shy of leaders Cox and Martin on Kanmantoo (SS17) which grew to 15s thanks to a spirited effort from the latter on the day-ending SS18.
Cook and Richards ended the day third but managed to close the gap to second-position to 0.7s, keeping the top three in the hunt.
Ross and Emma Smith are fourth in a 1984 Nissan 300ZX, with the turbo Volvo of Mike Lowe and Kerry Chevis rounding out the top five, 1 minute and 42s behind the leaders.