Guy Tyler has enjoyed an impressive start to the 2020 Motorsport Australia South Australian Rally Championship with victory in the PMD Race Products Forest Sprint.
With the championship’s season opener running as a shortened rally sprint, more than 30 crews took part in the 15-stage event, as Tyler eventually claimed a 40 second victory over Aaron Bowering and Heath Weedon in the Subaru Impreza.
Driving alongside Mike Dale in his new Mitsubishi Evo 9, Tyler struggled to find his rhythm in the opening three stages of the event, which took place at the South Eastern Automobile Club’s (SEAC) home track on Saturday night.
After a slow start to Sunday morning, where he spun on the day’s opening stage, Tyler clicked into gear on the event’s fifth stage and steered his Evo 9 to a 14 second win over his Subaru counterparts in what was the biggest stage win for the event.
It was all Tyler and Dale from then on as the duo won the remaining nine stages and continued Tyler’s remarkable run of winning every SA event he has entered since winning the championship in 2015.
“It was a pretty good feeling to win actually, because we had put in a lot of hard work in the lead up to get ourselves there,” Tyler said.
“Even though we had six months of no events, we spent lots of money and time on the car so it was a pretty big effort to get to the event, and then win it.
“The tough start was a bit of a culmination of both Mike and I, as was our spin on Sunday morning, but once we found our groove, we were pretty solid and found good pace.
“I had gone to SEAC Park to do an autocross a few weeks prior so I could try and get used to the track, but there is such a big difference between day and night that in the end, it had no effect.
“However I was confident that as long as we were in touch by the time we got to the forest, we would be okay. On Sunday afternoon, we were more comfortable and much quicker, so naturally it was more enjoyable.
“At the end of the day, we are thrilled with the win and it sets us up very nicely for the rest of the championship.”
For Bowering, who was also the event’s secretary, it was a disappointing finish to the rallysprint after he had led the competition up until stage four.
“It was just one of those days. We had a really good start but once Guy turned it on, there was no stopping him. He just needs to slow down next time,” Bowering said.
“Apart from not winning, it was a really enjoyable event with one of the biggest turnouts in recent times. So a big thanks to SEAC and everyone who made it happen.”
Rounding out the top three behind Tyler and Bowering was Jamie Pohlner and Adam Branford, while it was a day to forget for the reigning champions in Zayne Admiraal and Matthew Heywood, with the duo hitting a tree on the fifth stage.
After eventually recovering from the incident, they went to produce a solid number of stage results and finished in 11th place.
Also running at the PMD Race Products Forest Sprint was SEAC’s own club series, and it was the combination of Sam and Josh Becker who took out the victory in just their first ever rally.
The next scheduled Motorsport Australia South Australian Rally Championship event is the AGI Sport Adelaide Hills Rally on 2-4 October.