Despite at-times sweatbox conditions in the WRX cabin, the Subaru do duo underlined their resilience, placing third overall heading into the final two early evening Super Special stages at Coffs Harbour jetty.
Following a gearbox change in Friday’s final service, the team rose to third overall on the demanding Nambucca I this morning, an exercise in total concentration and dehydration.
The pair then completed the trio of morning stages in fourth overall, heading into morning service.
Opportunity knocked on the Nambucca re-run with problems for leader Simon Evans demoting him to 17th on stage and a near 10 minute time loss.
Molly’s third place on the following SS16 was sufficient to secure overall third at the end of the afternoon.
Molly said: “We’re working hard on the ‘one percenters’ that really can make a difference in a long three day event.
“We can consolidate the key learnings to make sure we now give ourselves every edge we can.
“The first 50 km stage was very tight and a real exercise in concentration, especially when we had the temperature hitting 60C in the cabin.
“But it’s been a good day and with just five stages left tomorrow we’ll stay focused for the finish.”
Visitors to the Subaru do Motorsport service area in Coffs Harbour can also enter a competition to win hot laps around the iconic Mount Panorama race circuit at Bathurst, NSW, in a specially prepared Model Year 2017 WRX STI, driven by Molly.
The prize also includes one night’s accommodation for Subaru’s Climb the Mountain Event on Tuesday February 7, 2017, at which customers can also pay $495 for the ride experience. More details of this exciting prize will be announced next week at the start of the rally. (Terms and conditions apply).
DAY ONE PLACINGS AFTER SS16
1. Bates/McCarthy, Toyota Corolla S2000, 2:26:43.9
2. Pedder/Moscatt, Peugeot 208, 2:29:36.5, +02:52.6
3. Taylor/Hayes, Subaru WRX STI, 2:29:51.0, +03:07.1
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Australian Rally Championship®