Thee was a tight battle for the Classic Competition class lead in the Shannons Adelaide Rally after a competitive second day of action in the stunning Adelaide hills, with two of the quickest cars in the field trading times. After leading overnight, the Craig Haysman / Julie Boorman Triumph TR7 ceded the lead to Michael Busby and Damien Reed’s Mazda RX7 on the third stage of the day only to later reclaim it – by just 0.2 seconds heading into the final stage of Leg 2.
Busby, however, was up to the task and completed the final stage 0.6 seconds quicker than the Triumph to take a less than half-a-second lead in the class overnight. Less than 30 seconds cover the top four in class after two tough days.
The Classic Challenge class leaders remain unchanged with Steven Hevera / Stuart Cavill’s Porsche 911Sc heading the times – having won every stage in the rally so far.
Thursday’s stages saw the Rally head to the classic roads of the inner North-Eastern hills, including two runs past the reservoir on Chain of Ponds and a blast up the iconic switchback hairpins of Corkscrew Road.
The field then headed to the South East for Bull Creek – at 10.2 kilometres the longest stage of the day – and Strath Hill, near Strathalbyn, before regrouping at the Wayville showgrounds.
In total, Thursday’s stages represented 44.4 competitive kilometres and just over 244.8km in total.
Day One Report: Day One
Friday will see the rally head back into the Hills, including the longest stage of the Event; the 18.1km Marble Hill challenge which would ultimately be a deciding stage given the current closeness of the event.
Following the final stage near Sterling, the cars will regroup in the City before heading to Gouger Street for the traditional Friday evening street party which will see all the competition and tour cars on display on the closed street.
The closest fight in the rally saw the leading scrap in Classic Competition come down to the final stage of the day – Michael Busby and Damien Reed taking the rally lead by a tiny 0.5 seconds heading into the final two days.
The lead changed hands three times today in a pulsating battle that is likely to continue throughout the remaining stages.
Having led overnight, Craig Haysman and Julie Boorman’s Triumph ceded the lead to the Michael Busby / Damien Reed Mazda RX7 early in the day; the latter taking a pair of back to back stage wins on SS9 (Chain of Ponds Long 1) and SS10 – the iconic Corkscrew stage to take point. They headed to the lunchtime regroup leading by 3.2 seconds.
However that was just the beginning – Haysman grabbing the lead back by a tiny 0.2 seconds following a second-placed effort through SS13 (Doctors Creek), setting up a thrilling finish to the day over the 6.9-kilometre blast over the Strath Hill stage that closed out the day.
There, Haysman’s 3m33.03s effort was bettered by Busby by just 0.7 seconds – the Mazda turning a 0.2 second deficit into a 0.4 second rally lead in an instant.
Behind them, Tim Pryzibilla and Rick Powell (Porsche 911RS) remain well in contention, less than 20 seconds from the rally lead in class.
In fact, just 30 seconds cover the top five in the most competitive class in the rally so far.
Nick and Jacob Streckeisen (Porsche 944) won the most stages of anyone in class today though after issues yesterday remain more than a minute off the ultimate pace.
Steven Hevera and Stuart Cavill’s Porsche 911Sc led Classic Challenge by nearly 40 seconds overnight, and only extended that margin as day two of the event evolved.
Their lead over Karl Von Sanden and Alexander Visintin’s Porsche 944 had grown to one minute following SS9 (Chain of Ponds 1), the second stage of the day and it only got bigger from there - an undefeated streak of stage wins continuing throughout the day with the Porsche now leading by more than 1 minute 47 seconds.
They have won every stage of the rally so far, while Von Sanden’s Porsche holds a more than 1 minute 20 second margin over third-place in Classic, Ross and Emma Smith third in their Nissan 300ZX.
DAY 2 LEADERBOARD / SHANNONS ADELAIDE RALLY
1. Haysman / Boorman (Triumph TR7) 28:47.4
2. Busby / Reed (Mazda RX-7) +0.5s
3. Pryzibilla / Powell (Porsche 911RS) +12.9s
1. Hevera / Cavill (Porsche 911 SC) 31:10.6
2. Von Sanden / Visintin (Porsche 944) +1:47.2s
3. Smith / Smith (Nissan 300ZX) +3:13.7s