The Subaru duo of Molly Taylor and Bill Hayes, in the Group N Production Class All-Wheel Drive Subaru WRX STI, again proved consistent across the four morning stages, returning to lunchtime service in sixth place overall.
Despite a rear suspension problem on the day’s final stage, the 27.18 kilometre SS8 Cutters 2, the team’s overall standing elevated to fifth, in what Molly described as a rollercoaster day.
“We started off well, but I felt we went a bit backwards during the morning after that, which wasn’t helped by us being held up by another car on the third stage, which cost us time.
“While that was a bit frustrating, given how slippery it was, we were doing OK, but then something happened in the rear suspension on the last stage, which again cost time.”
The rally is regarded as having some of the fastest stages in the championship and several drivers experienced spins and adrenalin-charged “moments” going wide on slippery corners.
Tomorrow’s Heat Two covers a further eight stages that cover the same ground as today – but in the opposite direction.
With rain and thunderstorms a possibility, it could prove one of the Championship’s most challenging days in 2016.
The Queensland event is Round Three of the Kumho Tyre Australian Rally Championship 2016.
LEG ONE PLACINGS
1. Evans/Searcy, Subaru Impreza WRX, 1:15:21.7
2. Bates/McCarthy, Toyota Corolla S2000, 1:15:43.4, +00:21.7
3. Quinn/Calder, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 1:16:47.9, +01:26.2
4. Wilde/Hill, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 1:17:16.0, +01:54.3
5. Taylor/Hayes, Subaru WRX STI, 1:18:11.8, +02:50.1