Tristan Kent had also had a trying time at the previous round, crashing heavily, however he had managed to get himself north to Bonalbo and had visions of keeping himself in the championship hunt. He had experienced co-driver Peter Hellwig with him this time around, however he had a feeling in the car that made it handle much like a rear drive. It made for great viewing, and the times were not bad for the Canberran, but he had to settle for fourth in the end in his bright orange Lancer Evo 9.
In a remarkable fifth outright and first 2WD was the Citroen DS3 of Tony Sullens and Kaylee Newell. If the Rally of the Bay had suited the crew and car then this event did too, and despite a mystery gearbox drama at the very start of stage 1, which did not reoccur, Tony put his head down and committed to the roads and the car and nailed down another giant-killing result.
Sixth is where we find Raymo and Kate Catford and the ‘ancient’ Subaru. Melinda Bergman reckoned she could now sell the car for an inflated price as the car had finished so well in the event! Raymond’s commitment was evident, and this result takes the championship to the final round.
Seventh after a mostly quiet day was the Evo 5 of Armidale’s Garry Yeomans and Kam Baker. The pair had a massive moment on stage 7. Kam explains. ‘The rears (tyres) just let go into a fast-left hander. I saw there was nothing on the inside as we were broadside and the car went to the inside.’ It was a very steep slope and Gary managed to turn the car to the right and fire the car back onto the road. ‘We were lucky there was nothing down there!’ said a relieved Kam. Garry’s cheeky grin said it all really!
Eighth was another northern NSW crew, this one being the Lancer Evo 4 of David Opie and Ben Richards. Seeded car 24, the pair set 4 top ten stage times to hit the top ten easily and beat some more fancied teams, and to be just behind the former driver of this very car, Garry Yeomans.
Ninth was the reward for the trip south for the Lancer Evo 9 crew of Brayden and Blake Wilson. The pair had a good run again after some learning experiences in their new car.
Tenth was also a Queensland crew, Cahal Carey and Ronnie Bustard, also in an Evo 9. But they were tied with one of the best sounding cars in the field, the S2000 Corolla of Wayne Morton and Kirra Penny, a Queensland based driver and NSW based co driving combination had to put up with some slippery roads in the normally aspirated Corolla and they played catchup for most of the afternoon.