Wrangling their way from an initial fifth on SS9 in the Group N Production Class All-Wheel Drive WRX STI, the Subaru pair of Taylor and Bill Hayes navigated at times treacherous conditions to claw their way into contention.
Damage to a rear lower lateral suspension control arm sustained on the penultimate stage yesterday was repaired successfully in Saturday’s final service.
Overnight showers degenerated into heavy rain after today’s first two stages and the attrition list was high, including Simon Evans rolling on SS11.
The day’s afternoon stages were cancelled, replaced with a nominal 1.2 kilometre run to ensure the required distance was covered to enable points to apply in the Kumho Tyre Australian Rally Championship 2016.
Molly said: “The first two stages were slippery but at least it wasn’t raining.
“But after that it really started pouring and it was just like driving on black ice.
“It certainly wasn’t an incentive to take risks and was very difficult to judge. We were very aware of picking the line.
“It almost felt like we needed studded tyres for a while. There was just no room for the ground to absorb any more water with this rain so soon after the recent storms.”
The Championship now goes into a two and-a-half month break, reactivating in South Australia in September.
HEAT TWO PLACINGS
1. Smart/Allen, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 1:47:00.9
2. Bates/McCarthy, Toyota Corolla S2000, 1:48:00.5, +00:59.6
3. Wilde/Hill, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 1:49:07.5, +02:06.6
4. Taylor/Hayes, Subaru WRX STI, 1:50:56.3, +03:55.4
5. Quinn/Calder, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 1:52:32.3, +05:31.4