The heritage of the Shannons Adelaide Rally – classic cars tackling amazing roads in the Adelaide Hills – is alive and well in this year’s edition of the event.
While Modern Competition cars steal fastest times and stage wins, the Classic cars are stealing the fans attention throughout the Adelaide Hills and surrounds during this weekend’s Adelaide Motorsport Festival.
More than 40 cars entered the Classic Competition and Challenge classes this year and the competition in each has been tough.
The breadth of variety of cars is a hallmark of the Classic Competition class with a host of classic Porsche 911s joined by BMWs, Alfa Romeo’s,
Matt Selley and Hamish Mckendrick led the rally heading into the final day’s stages, their 56.1 second margin a solid if not entirely comfortable lead given the challenging stages in the Adelaide Hills on Saturday.
Selley has been a regular in Adelaide Rally competition with his howling BMW-based Hartage H35 a fan favourite.
Their lead is over another rally staple, the Porsche 911RS of Roger Patterson and Richard Geue.
Third overnight was the Datsun 240Z of Roger Lomman and Annie Bainbridge.
They sit just 14.8 seconds behind Patterson and Geue and well positioned for a charge to a possible second position in the final 38 competitive kilometres across stages like Mt. Lofty, Basket Range and Norton Summit.
Fourth is another Porsche – the 1983 Porsche 911 RS of Tim Pryzibilla and Rick Powell while rounding out the top five is a fourth different brand; the rare (in Australia, at least) 1979 Rover SD1 of Jai Raymond and Jan Mathwin-Raymond.
The classic competition has attracted it’s usual broad mix of noted racing luminaries – including some who have elected to join forces for the event this year.
Mark Laucke and Greg Keene are more accustomed to driving their own cars however have linked together to share both driving and navigating duties in Laucke’s 1974 Porsche 911.
Both are also recent National circuit racing champions; Laucke winning the 2017 Australian Prototype Series and Keene the 2017 IROC Challenge series for historic Porsche’s.
The pair sit outside the top ten after battling mechanical issues late on day three, however returned to the roads today to complete the rally.
Classic Challenge features an even closer battle at the pointy-end heading into the final day of competition.
Class leaders Karl Von Sanden and Alex Visintin lead the way in their 1983 Porsche 944 however only by 22.1 seconds.
They are being chased on the final day by another Porsche – the 1977 911 driven by Hugh Feggans and Jim Callahan.
Third, and just over half-a-minute further back, is the Maxda RX2 of Daniel Beck and Benjamin Gillespie.
Such is the level of competition in the Classic Challenge class that Von Sanden and Visintin would be ninth in the Competition class had they been classified together – with Feggans / Callahan just outside the top 10.
The classic competition and challenge classes continue today through nine stages in the Adelaide Hills and one final blast around Victoria Park to complete the rally tonight.
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