Last Saturday held Round 4 of the MTA NSW Rally Championship, one of the most demanding rounds in the 2019 season. The event held in Batemans Bay, a Three hour drive from Sydney, holds some of the most demanding stages that tests the cars and crews. These roads are notorious with little room for error and are known to have some of the most tight and technical stages on the 2019 calendar. This round also doubles up as a round of the CAMS Hino Geelong Victorian Rally Championship, a new partnership between the rival states.
With both championships at play there were 65 entries with a vast variety of production rally cars, classic rally cars and some of the new generation rally cars to hit the Australian Shores. Not entered for NSW Points consisted of Richie Dalton in his Ford Fiesta Proto, Luke Anear in his brand new M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 and JJ Hatton in his Hyundai AP4.
Before the round commenced, Glen Raymond and Kate Catford in their Mitsubishi Evo 9 were championship leaders with a dominant start winning the first three rounds. Following the leaders, Tristan Kent (Mitsubishi Evo 9) and Richard Shimmon (Mitsubishi Evo 7)
As the stages got underway a pivotal moment of the championship happened 1.5km into the first stage as Glen Raymond over-corrected on a fast right hander and snapped back into a solid tree ending their event then and there. Thankfully the crew were both fine but their championship was over.
The first delay of the day that eventually became a pattern that continued to worsen making it a challenge for everyone, organisers included in keeping the event running. Stage 3, River Road, one of the many reasons crews come to tackle this event claimed its second championship contender in the form of Tristan Kent. Leading the rally in that stage he came off second best after a wrong pacenote sent him into the embankment, ripping the suspension and ending their rally.
With the first heat going to Richie Dalton the second heat commenced and Tom Clarke (Mitsubishi Evo 9) went in to capitalise on the misfortune of his championship rivals but on SS4 it all ended after oil on the pedals caught them out after a long flatout section, smashing the embankment and ending their championship.
With crews tired and battered by the end of the final stage, Richie Dalton took his first win in this Ford Fiesta making it back-to-back wins in the Bay. Richard Shimmon (Mitsubishi Evo 7) taking 2nd honors and Gavin Croker (Mitsubishi Evo 3) rounding out the overall podium. The drive of the day went to Tony Sullens and Kaylie Newell in their front wheel drive Citroen DS3 pushing unbelievably hard on every stage to take 4th outright and 3rd in the NSW Championship.
Points after Round 4;
MTA NSW Rally Championship
1: Richard Shimmon – 161 (Mitsubishi Evo 7)
2: Glen Raymond – 145 (Mitsubishi Evo 9)
3: Tony Sullens – 136 (Citroen DS3)
4: Andrew Penny – 135 (Subaru WRX)
5: Tristan Kent – 124 (Mitsubishi Evo 9)
A big thank you to all of the officials from North Shore Sporting Car Club for running another successful event managing the delays and accidents. Speed Nation would like to thank you for a great rally and we look forward to next years event.