The Rally Action team at the 2015 Lewana Stages Rally

How did our trek to the Lewana stages rally go in late July?
20% is the answer.

What do we mean by 20%?
Well, of the 5 cars in our team, only 1 finished.
This may seem like disappointing news, however it’s not!

We took the trek from Perth to Kirup near the end of last month for round four of the State Rally Championship. A six stage event using the Grimwade tree plantation, we were enthusiastic of a good result.180sx rally car Lewana Stages

Heading the list were Geoff and Paul in their Nissan Silvia. Jumping out of the blocks in the first stage, the pair had a goal of gaining valuable points in the state 2wd championship. 5 or so km later it was all over. The car had developed a misfire which was progressively getting worse. Once the service crew got under the bonnet in the service park to investigate, a suspect igniter was thought to be the cause. Unfortunately without a spare, there was not much choice except to put the car on the trailer. Sure their rally was over early, however it did allow some time to spectate and enjoy the “other side of the fence” for a change.

Lewana Stages Excel rally carThe next of our team to have difficulties were Dannielle and Neil. Rain had fallen heavily in the days leading up to the rally and whilst it was dry on the day, there were some very slippery sections of road. On one right hand corner the Excel understeered into a muddy ditch and was stuck fast. Several other competitors nearly ended up in exactly the same spot highlighting the conditions. Even though the pairing were over the time limit, the organisers allowed them to continue after being recovered. It meant more seat time and a chance to get some practice in the dark.Honda Civic rally car flying Lewana Stages

Andrew and Jess had struggled at the last rally and got stuck for some time finishing down the order. Lewana was a very different affair with the crew literally flying their red Honda over the many crests and yumps of the Grimwade plantation. In the end the duo brought the Civic home to a fine fourth place in the Clubman.

19 year olds Rohan and Jace were on their very first rally in their rear wheel drive Galant. Both the crew and the little Mitsubishi Galant rally car Lewana StagesMitsubishi had been prepared over a long period of time, yet the nerves were evident before the start. As the last car in the rally, we did everything we could to help the boys get underway. They left the service park on time and all we could do was wait for them to return for the first service. Right on time the guys arrived at half way service beaming and without a mark on the car. Were they having fun? You bet! During the afternoon we had a chance to check the results. First event or not, they were in ninth place in the Clubman! On their last stage, the car slipped off the road near the spectator point and got stuck. Some of our team were right there watching and went to lend a hand, however the car was hooked up on a stump. With the car stuck the time limit expired and they were out.Toyota Yaris rally car Lewana Stages

The very last stage of the rally delivered its final blow. With 5km or so to go, Brad and Richard ran their Toyota Yaris off the road at speed and found a tree in the dark. It was a heavy impact and the car could not continue under its own power. Up until that point, they had been holding down sixth place in state 2 wheel drive.

So how could the news be positive? Well first, there was no major damage to the Nissan or the Galant. The Excel finished the remaining stages even though Dannielle and Neil weren’t classified in the results and whilst the Yaris looked a little worse for wear, both Brad and Richard walked away totally unharmed due to all the safety devices.

The next rally is a very special event. Half of the team will be on the competition side, the other half will be organising the event. The 10th of October will see the 50th running of the Light Car Club Safari Rally in the forests around Chidlow/Sawyers Valley east of Perth.

In the mean time, it’s out with the pressure washer to remove the mud from under the cars….

If you’d like to get into rally, we’d love to help you, click here for more info.

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