State News: Auty and Mitchell end Tasmanian Championship on high

Timothy Auty and Jon Mitchell have dominated the LWE Mountain Stages Rally to claim the fifth and final stage of the CAMS Tasmanian Rally Championship.

The Mazda 323 GT3 pilots were on point all day, picking up seven out of the eight stages to win their first round outright in the 2018 championship.

Finishing in second were young guns Bodie Reading and Alex Malcolm, while Nic Grave and Craig Sheahan rounded out the podium.

The overall 2018 Championship standings are currently being finalised and will be published once received.

Auty and Mitchell began the day in the style, taking out every stage in the opening heat to hold a lead of one and half minutes over Reading and Malcolm, before the Subaru WRX pilots reduced the gap to one minute after taking out the fifth stage.

Thatโ€™s as close as the pair got the leaders, with Auty and Mitchell powering through the remaining three stages to finish the rally one minute and 16 seconds ahead of their younger rivals.

The round victory saw the pair cap off an amazing season turnaround after a disappointing start where they post no points in the opening round of the season.

More than six and half minutes separated Reading and Malcolm with Grave and Sheahan, while fourth placed Stephen Turner and Mitchell Newton finished a further minute and a half behind.

The Ford Fiesta drivers, who occupied third spot at the end of the first heat, took the second heat to enjoy their P2 class, falling more 30 seconds behind Grave and Sheahan in three of the final four stages.

Grave and Sheahanโ€™s third saw them claim the P5 class, while Turner and Newton did not leave empty handed, finishing the weekend with the P2 class. Other class victors were Stewart Paine and Emily Gunn in P4 and Mark Kyle and Daniel Davies the P3 class.

Hosted by the Motor Sports Club of Tasmania, a field of 16 drivers took part in the CAMS Tasmanian Rally Championship, with only three drivers failing to finish the rally.

Click here for the full results from the LWE Mountain Stages Rally.