State News: Raymond claims NSW round bragging rights

Glen Raymond and Kate Catford have won the second round of the MTA CAMS NSW Rally Championship, taking out a thrilling Singleton Automotive Centre Caves Classic Rally in Oberon.

Behind the wheel of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, the pair’s consistency was second to none as they were only one of two crews to finish every stage in the top five, as well as winning two stages of their own.

It took the former CAMS Australian Rally Championship (ARC) crew until the third stage to claim their first win for the round after finishing behind Tom Clarke and Ryan Preston in the opening two stages.

It was a heartbreaking stage for Clarke and Preston as their Evo 7 limped over the line in 34th outright and failed to start the next stage – ending their chances for the round victory.

Following Clarke’s demise, Raymond and Catford continued their solid form over the next few stages and had their second minor victory on the sixth stage, which was enough to extend the gap at the top to more than a minute over fellow Lancer Evo pilots Richard Shimmon and Jim Gleeson.

Shimmon and Gleeson managed to claim the next two stages over the leaders to add to their fourth stage win, but it was too little too late as they could only reduce the final difference to 42 seconds.

Rounding out the podium was another Evo crew in Tristan Kent and Robert Males, the pair securing a comfortable third place thanks to their multiple runner-up stage finishes.

With reigning champions Glen Brinkman and Harvey Smith steering their Lancer Evo 9 to fourth place outright, it marked a dominant outing for Mitsubishi – Another ARC pair in Andrew Penny and Rhys Llewellyn were the best of the rest, guiding their Subaru WRC to fifth place.

Despite their mishap on the third and fourth stages, Clarke and Preston managed to end the event with the most stage wins – picking up four stages throughout the weekend, including an incredible nine second win for the their return on the fifth stage.

While the event marked the second round of the state championship, it was also hosting the East Coast Classic Rally Series’ second round, with top honours going to outright sixth placed Thomas Dermody and Eoin Moynihan.

Finishing behind the Escort RS 1800 pilots in the Series were Michael O’Hagen and Patrick Skelton in second place and 2017 ARC champion Nathan Quinn alongside Ray Winwood-Smith.

Other notable victories went to the outright seventh placed pairing of Ron and Jo Moore who took out the CAMS NSW Speedmaster Open Rally Series, Stephen Duthie and Damien Hanns in the Techworkz Clubman Rally Series and Michael Heuchan alongside James White won the Development RS series.

Click here to view the full results from the round. 

The third round of the MTA CAMS NSW Rally Championship takes place at the ARC’s second round of 2019, the Netier National Capital Rally on 11 May.