Peter Schey and Kate Catford’s second outright at the BOTT Adelaide Hills Rally was enough to secure the 2018 MRF Tyres South Australian Rally Championship but it was Zayne Admiraal and Matthew Heywood that almost upstaged the champs, claiming a spot on the CAMS Australian Rally Championship podium.
Schey and Catford claimed the 2018 SARC title on Saturday, their second place in heat one giving them an unassailable points lead.
But it was Admiraal and Heywood that made a late charge up the order on Sunday to claim third outright, the pair’s Subaru Impreza WRX withstanding the tough conditions as others made errors or suffered mechanical issues.
Schey was thrilled to take out the title on Saturday.
“Fantastic, we’re stoked,” he said.
Explaining how a Victorian came to be competing in the SARC, Schey said:
“Really because the Heartland looked like such a good event, and those that have done it in the past all raved about it…it started off as a one off, Kate volunteered to sit beside me and do the co-driving because it was her home event near where she grew up. Having finished well, we thought ‘let’s do another one’, finished well again and it just went from there.”
As for what is in store for the future, Schey is still to decide.
“It’s still up win the air,” he said.
“I’ve got this car…I’ve got a Peugeot 205 T16 that will hopefully be finished early in the year, will be exciting to see that out and about, but I might come back to SA – they’re nice people, they’ve been very welcoming and it’s a great series.”
Fresh off a win at the third round of the SARC, Declan Dwyer and Craig Adams were the flyers on day one, winning the heat by 1 minute, 44 seconds, which was enough to put them in sixth outright in the national field.
Admiraal was just over a minute behind Schey after heat one’s seven stages.
Sunday saw a three-way battle for heat two honours, Jamie Pohlner and Ken Moore leading the way early in their Subaru Impreza WRX, mixing it with Admiraal and Dale Cagney and Mark Dycer in the EVO VI.
Dwyer’s day two run was hampered by brake issues and later a broken tail shaft – he was forced to sit out the rest of the day, checking into the final control to salvage some points.
Admiraal made his move on the famed Mawsons Road stage, grabbing the heat lead from Pohlner and extending it to 17.4 seconds at the end of the final stage.
Pohlner slipped down the order late as he battled with engine woes, Schey moving into second and Matthew Selley and Hamish McKendrick grabbing third in the Ford Escort.
Admiraal took out the SARC round win, his second for the year, with Schey in second and Pohlner in third.
Schey and Catford held a 29 point advantage over rivals Admiraal and Heywoodto as they headed to the fourth and final round of the MRF Tyres SARC .
Schey finished the year with one SARC round win at the inaugural Auto One Port Augusta Rally of the Ranges event in July in his ex-Cody Crocker Asia Pacific Rally Championship WRX STi. Two rounds went to Admiraal, claiming the silverware at Rally of the Heartland and the BOTT Adelaide Hills Rally.
The third round of the SARC, the Copyworld Walky 100, was won by Dwyer and Adams in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI, the pair winning the event for the third time in a row.
View full results here.