C.E. - The Free Weekly Online Car Magazine
Round 3 Round 3 Round 4 - Respect Yourself Forest Rally

The Australian Rally Super Series took it's longest road trip of the year, to the hills around Perth, Western Australia last weekends for the Respect Yourself Forest Rally, round four of the ARC. The top teams would all be represented, as well as mammoth efforts on behalf of the Lowndes Motor Sport team of Spencer Lowndes and Claire Parker, who had to get the front end replaced on their Lancer Evo 5. In fact the car had been built originally by Maximum Motorsport here in Perth, so it was in good hands. The other team was that of Queenslander Stewart Reid and Anthony McLoughlin, who had a brand new motor in the Lancer Evo 6, after cooking the original on debut in Queensland. Ex Aussie champ and Group N supremo fro many years, Ed Ordynski, would make a return to the Super Series, this time with his Canberra co-driver Iain Stewart co driving in the Ralliart Lancer Evo 5.
Possum Bourne extends his lead in the series

The action started on Thursday at the media day when the VW Golf Kit Car of Simon Evans suffered a major engine failure ,with a hole in the block on the number four cylinder. The team have a new engine on the way from Germany and will compete on Rally NZ.

Subaru's lead driver Possum Bourne and co-driver Craig Vincent extended their Aussie Super Series lead even further on the last heat last Saturday afternoon. Possum's Impreza WRC98 headed for home 55 seconds ahead of the Corolla WRC of Neal Bates and Coral Taylor. 'We have just had a good clean run today, no real problems, except for a couple of very fast stages!' The

Corolla driver was very disappointed to be second. 'I can't remember having taken so many risks just to come second. A centre diff problem has made the car very unpredictable.' The Toyota nearly left the road three times on the short Hairpin Road, and then lost further seconds on the following two stages. The car was then swamped by the TTA technicians at the end of day service park at the Kalamunda Shopping Centre, in the Perth hills.

Behind the two dueling WRC cars was an intense battle for both third place and Group N honours. Stewart Reid and Anthony McLoughlin started out fast, beating the two factory cars from Mitsubishi and Subaru, however normal service was restored and Ed Ordynski/ Iain Stewart (Lancer Evo 5) and Cody Crocker/ Greg Foletta (Impreza WRX) swapped stage times. Cody actually managed to beat the ex-Aussie champ on four of the eight tests, however Ed took a massive sixteen seconds off the Subaru on the Dale Long stage (23kms), and was at a loss to explain why. They had equal times on two other stages, and Ed took the others. Stewart Reid was having a great run when on the second last stage the Lancer Evo 6 decided it didn't like the ruts and jumped off into the side of the road and damaged the oil cooler. 'We are fairly disappointed, especially after the Queensland disaster.'

'We are really happy to have some serious competition' related Ed at the end of rally service. 'We have another day to go too!' Cody Crocker's co-driver Greg Foletta says that it ranked among the best rallying they have ever had.' The Subaru pair went straight on a eight left rather than bend the car. Foletta believes this cost them the seven seconds they lost on Ed on the stage. Behind the duelling Group N pair was the aging Legacy of young gun Dean Herridge, with Glenn Macneall alongside. The pair had to chase the Lancers of Tolley Challis/ Elio Della Maddalena, who retired with a blown engine, and Ross Mackenzie/ Paul van der Mey, who had the Warren Tuckett car wound up after changing some suspension settings. The pair were headed for a great result when they broke the left hand front driveshaft two stages from home. They dropped to an eventual seventh place.

Ed Ordynski/ Iain Stewart (Lancer Evo 5) and Cody Crocker/ Greg Foletta (Impreza WRX) swapped stage times

They followed the most impressive drive of the day, which came from Kiwi Stuart Warren, with fellow Kiwi Toni Feaver calling the corners. They started as car 64, on the road in the thirties. Stuart had not driven a four wheel drive car since 1994, and finished up the day sixth outright, after a good clean run. 'It's been a great day' enthused Toni afterwards. 'I haven't had too much experience in these things lately' related Stuart 'But today has been absolutely great.'

Spencer Lowndes and Claire Parker had to contend with some small dramas from the accident repairs from their off in Queensland, an had a steady but unspectacular run to seventh in Spencer's Evo 5 Lancer. 'There's more to come' said Clare. Ninth in the aging Pulsar GTiR was Craig Dawson and Brian Teidmann. The pair went out and had a good time on what they described as 'sensational WA roads'. Tenth outright was the Subaru Impreza WRX of Roman Watkins and Paul Flintoft, who would have finished a little higher, but fell back a little after the two dark stages at the end of the day.

Notable results came from Ed Ordynski's original VR4, (the car that won Group N in Rally Australia in 1989!) now in the hands of WA's John Macara, with Sinead Byrne in the silly seat. The pair dragged the near standard-engined car to 13th, while the crowds came to see and cheer the 'Great Aussie V8', the Ford Falcon AU of Steve Winwood and Lyndall Drake. 'We went out to have fun and entertain today' said Steve afterwards 'And that is what we have done. It's been great fun, and we get to do it all again tomorrow!' WA Champion Dennis Dunlop and wife Jacquie went out late in the day with a gearbox failure.

F2 was to be a VW benefit, with the Corolla Cup winner Steve Forsberg, with WA boy Stuart Percival co-driving. Jason Slot and Will Logan suffered an identical engine failure to the one suffered by teammate Simon Evans on the media day. This failure was even bigger than the first - taking out number 2 cylinder as well as number 4! Forsberg took the lead when leader Ashlea James and Sue McCready went off on the final stage. Amazingly, this meant that the diminutive Hyundai Excel of Bevan Phillips and Julian Graziani took second in F2, running in Group N!

Phillips and Graziani took 2nd in F2 - running a Group N car!

The most impressive drive of the day came from Kiwi Stuart Warren

WA driver John Purshouse and co-driver Lee Tierney took the prize for the most spectacular exit from the event with a barrell roll in the air followed by two rolls in their VR4 on the 1.8km first stage. The pair emerged unscathed. Ben Searcy and Heidi Ahrone didn't even get that far - the Suzuki Swift blowing it's gearbox on the liaison between Perth (Forrest Place), and HQ at The Vines.

Possum Bourne and Craig Vincent flew through Sunday's Mundaring stages in their Impreza WRC98 to take the second heat and the overall win in the Respect Yourself Forest Rally. The Subaru driver took to the stages with a vengeance today, taking time off every stage time yesterday, starting with Dale Long 2, the first stage. Neal Bates and Coral Taylor had no problems at all today, the Corolla WRC travelling very well. 'We can't seem to get a wet setup - it would be really interesting to do a dry event right about now to see how the car can really do.' Remarked Neal at the third service of the day. 'We had an overshoot on the Marlows stage which took out bunting and time, but apart from that the car is running perfectly. The narrower tyres we have switched to today improve the car under brakes.' Both the WRC cars were flat out today - the Corolla WRC saw 203km/h!

Behind the WRC cars came the Group N battle, which consisted of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5 of Ed Ordynski/ Iain Stewart and the Subaru Impreza WRX of Cody Crocker and Greg Foletta. The Subaru driver was not going to allow Ed to take 16 seconds off him on the Dale Long stage again, and he didn't - Cody took the stage by seven seconds! The lead changed hands after three stages, however, but the younger combination were determined to win, and took the car by the scruff of the neck to take victory and third outright today, and this made them equal winners of Group N for the weekend, not too mention third outright! Ed had some dramas during the day, including an overshoot when they struck a slippery patch before a corner to turn across a bridge. 'We went straight on rather than damage the car' remarked Ed. 'Cody is driving very well, we are going to have a hard time catching him.'

Stuart Warren and Toni Feaver had a sensational first day, finishing well inside the top ten, and were aiming for another similar finish in the second heat. They had a flat tyre when they hit a rock beside the road on the Marlows stage, and lost a bit of time, but this would not be enough to stop them taking a sensational sixth outright and equal first for the WA state teams. The ex-Tolley Challis' Evo 3 ran well and Stuart made the most of it to remain equal with Dean Herridge/ Glenn Macneall and the other Lancer Evo 3 of Ross Mackenzie and Paul van der Mey. The ex-Daihatsu F2 Aussie champ was having a ball in the Lancer, eventually finishing the second heat fifth outright. Herridge and Macneall had the old Legacy wound up and were trying hard, having an overshoot exactly were Ordynski had on Gorries. With no other harm done to the car other than time the pair continued on, only to have a flat on Marlows. They eventually finished the second heat seventh overall.

Roman Watkins and Paul Flintoft made eighth outright and third Group N in their privately entered Impreza. They had a good run to oust David Hills and Sophie Handley, who had a steady run to take ninth place and fourth Group N in their Evo 3 Lancer. John Macara and Sinead Byrne had another sensational run in the ex-Ordynski/ Whyatt VR4, taking tenth outright in what is a relatively underdeveloped car. Steve Winwood and Lyndall Drake had the Falcon XR8 wound up and took the Falcon to fifteenth outright. 'We are having a ball' remarked Steve later. And so were the spectators who came to see the big car go around!

Bates drove faultlessly in the Corolla WRC but was not happy with the wet set-up

F2 went down to the wire, with young West Australian Bevan Phillips and Julian Graziani taking the win ahead of Steve Forsberg and Stuart Percival in the Corolla Cup car. 'We knew we were close, and in the last one I was ready to write the car off or win, and fortunately we won!' said an elated Bevan later. Another local crew, Bill Hayes and Lauren Dunlop took third in F2 and first P3 home in his Lantra.

The next round of the Australian Super Series in the Rally of Melbourne, 13 - 15th August, to be run around the roads of Healesville, near Melbourne, where the battle for the Super Series will be resumed.

Story and photographs kindly provided by Neil Blackbourn - click on the highlighted names for further pictures - we just can't fit them all in, but they are well worth checking out!
You can email him at caint.com.

[Home] [News] [Features] [Car of The Week] [Motorsport] [A-Z]

Designed & maintained by caint.com