The 2018 Auto Action Port Augusta Rally has wrapped for another year, with Victorian Peter Schey claiming a sensational victory.
Partnered with CAMS Australian Rally Championship co-driver, Kate Catford, the Subaru Impreza WRX STi pilot won the eight stage blind rally that covered the picturesque Flinders Ranges in South Australia.
It was anything but easy for Schey and Catford (0:55:17) as the pair finished just eight seconds ahead of fellow WRX driver Aaron Bowering and Heath Weedon (0:55:25), while Stuart Bowes and Mark Nelson (0:55:39) rounded out the podium in their Mercedes 450SLC 5.0L.
While Schey won the opening special stage, it was Bowes who lead at the halfway point, winning the next three special stages, but a poor fifth and sixth stage that saw Bowering and Jamie Pohlner and Ken Moore grab one stage each, Pohlner claiming his first, which ultimately saw Bowes fall to second at the end of the day.
Despite not winning a stage since the first, Schey finished off strong with two superb final stages that was enough to earn the overall victory, while Bowes’s last stage was one to forget as he finished equal sixth, allowing Bowering to steal second place.
Pohlner was able to secure fourth after a strong finish in Suburu WRX with a time of 0:55:56 while Mitsubishi Galant VR4 pilots Paul Heenan and Andew Kriesl rounded out the top five with a time of 0:56:16.
Despite not winning overall, Bowering and Bowes were able to win the their individual classes with P6 and Classic class respectively, while Andrew Gleeson and Drew Brewer won the CRC class in their Datsun Stanza, while finishing 10th overall.
It was a day to remember for all those who attended as the spectator viewing points were full with Port Augusta locals soaking up the incredible atmosphere that officials Bob and Grita Nathan, Jeremy Brown, John Simpson and Ranges Motorsport Car club worked hard to create.
Following the successful rally, spectators, officials and competitors all joined together and were treated to a celebration of what will no doubt continue to be a permanent fixture in the South Australian rally calendar.
Photos: TwinCam Media and Laura Wicks