Round 2 of the Focus on Furniture Victorian Rally Championship sees us nearly 5 hrs north of Melbourne, right near the Wodonga/Albury border. With 5 stages for the event, covering a mixture of forestry and shire roads, this event will have drivers tested from the word go. One wrong move and you pay a heavy price at this event. This is the 2017 Border Oils & Batteries Mitta Mountain Rally. It all started with a cold, foggy Saturday morning, it was an early day for everyone as stages started early in the day at this event. Just what the drivers need on top of all the challenges already ahead…….. Fog!
Then the good news came in that the fog was lifting and looked like it would be a nice sunny day ahead, bring on Stage 1. A nice 14.52 km stage to get everyone in the groove for the morning. Stage 1 was won by Warren Lee/David Lethlean in their Mitsubishi Evo IX 7.0 seconds ahead of 2nd place Subaru WRX STi of Glen Raymond/Kate Catford, while a further 7.0 seconds to third was another Subaru WRX STi of Ben Hayes/Cathy Hayes. Stage 2 had already seen the Mitta starting to bite, at 30.89 kms long, let the fun begin. The Mitsubishi Evo IX of Warren Lee/David Lethlean had dropped time with a front right puncture, making it a Subaru 1,2 and 3 so far.
Stage 3 saw its own dramas, with an accident involving the Subaru of Stephen Raymond/Luke Simpson, but good news both driver and co driver were all ok. After a hard fought drive it was the Subaru of Glen Raymond/Kate Catford winning the stage, followed in 2nd by the Subaru pairing of Ben Hayes/Cathy Hayes and in 3rd Warren lee/David Lethlean in their Evo making up time after their flat in SS2. SS4 bit back with another accident. The Mitsubishi Evo IX of WarrenLee/David Lethlean having an off right near the end of SS4. Driver and Co Driver were all ok. The battle for the stage win was fought out between 3 Subaru’s. By the end Glen Raymond/Kate Catford pulled away from the field with a 26 sec lead to 2nd. Crews then stopped for service for some much needed TLC. The monster 53km Bogong stage awaited competitors for the final stage of the day. With the remaining crews going into the final battle of the event after service, it was on like Donkey Kong! At the end of this mammoth stage the winner of the stage was the Subaru Duo of Ben Hayes/Cathy Hayes by 33.4 seconds over 2nd place Glen Raymond/Kate Catford. While in 3rd placing for the stage was the Mitsubishi Evo 6 of Franco Liucci/Niall Gavin! After all the stage times were combined, the overall winners were Glen Raymond/Kate Catford in the Subaru WRX Impreza STi, 2nd Ben Hayes/Cathy Hayes with their Subaru WRX Impreza STi and 3rd went to the RWD Nissan Gazelle of Andrew Travis/Arron Topliff! How awesome to see a RWD on the podium. Next event sees us heading to the Pyrenees Rush, stay tuned.