State News: Windus moves one step closer to VRC title

Arron Windus is one step closer to claiming the Hino Geelong CAMS Victorian Rally Championship after dominating the Western Victorian Crane Trucks Valley Stages.

Alongside co-driver Daniel Brick, the Subaru Impreza pilots proved too strong for the 70 other crews, recording a clean sweep of stages to take a commanding lead into the championship’s final round next month.

Making the win even more impressive was the calibre of talent taking part in the Victorian based rally, with previous national competitors JJ Hatton and Chris Higgs all part of the 10-stage event.

Right from the get go, Windus and Brick were on song, starting with an eight second first stage win and extended their eventual first heat lead to almost two minutes faster than Brendan Reeves and co-driver Ben Searcy in second place.

The duo didn’t let up in the second heat either, winning the next five heats comfortably and adding their buffer over the Ford Escort MK2 drivers to more than three and half minutes, ending a perfect weekend.

“It was a pretty good weekend to be honest and we can’t really fault it,” Windus said.

“There were some tricky conditions that we had to work with but overall everything went to plan. We had really good pace early and we were able to build on it as the event went on.

“There was a very strong field with a bunch of guys coming down from New South Wales which was obviously pretty cool to be able compare our pace up with them.

“For us, it was beyond any of our expectations to win every stage. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going into the final round and cap of what has been a really good year.”

While Reeves and Searcy finished in second place behind the winners, more than one minute separated them and eventual third placed Higgs and Daymon Nicoli.

Despite the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 drivers unable to keep up with the runner-ups, they still came away with a well deserved podium after enjoying a entertaining battle with Justin Walker and Blaise McNamara after the latter finished ahead in the second heat.

Rounding out the top five after a consistent weekend was Warren Lee alongside David Lethlean as the Lancer driver scored valuable points to stay in touch with Walker for outright second in the drivers standings.

Click here to view the results from the VRC.

Also part of the event was the Victorian Rally Clubman Series, where Cody Richards and Matthew Dillon took out top honours over Daryl and Paul King in second. Meanwhile Brian Newton and Ryan Price secured the series’ bottom step of the podium.

With only one round remaining the VRC, Windus needs only four points from the final round to secure victory, while Brick has officially claimed the co-driver championship with a round still to go.

The season finale takes place next month with the MRF Tyres Akademos Rally on 20 October.