2024 Shannons Rally of the Heartland

Shannons Rally of the Heartland was run an earlier time of year in 2024, in April.  This year’s entry list was boosted by the return of Mal Keough in his Audi Quattro S1 E2 Replica, a big drawcard for the event’s spectators and photographers alike.  The event is also a round of the South Australian Rally Championship (SARC) and the East Coast Classic Rally Series (ECCRS), although SARC entrants would not compete in the long night stage of SS14 Route 12-1.

Stages were located from north west of Eudunda to north of Hallett and eastwards into the Eastern Districts plains, with the Rally HQ based at Paxton Square in Burra.  Parts of some stages were recycled for other stages, for example Mongalata stage on Sunday has the east-west part of Saturday’s Mount Bryan stages.  The longest stages were the Route 21/ Route 12 stages at 72kms, the latter being run twice including one as a night stage.  A new stage, Box Creek was located north of Hallett in the Ulooloo area.  Friday comprised 4 prologue stages south of Burra and then rerun as “proper” special stages.  Hanging dust was going to be a problem especially for stages approaching towards the evening when the breeze died off or where there was white powdery bulldust (or fech-fech) sections in the narrower treed areas such as on the Mount Bryan and Mongalata stages.

On Day 1 after the 4 Prologues stages, Mal Keough in the Audi Quattro held a slender 3.1sec lead from Glenn Brinkman in a Ford Escort RS Cosworth and Irishman Thomas Dermody in a Ford Escort RS 1800 MKII.  Matt Selley, competing in SARC headed that field next in 4th place over Guy Tyler in the big Mitsubishi Magna.  For the first real stages Tyler would beat allcomers before Matt Selley won the next two stages, but Keough would hold the overall lead at the end of SS7 The Cutting2.  Mal Keough had had had an eventful day to say the least.  Mal posted in Facebook ” first stage and we had a misfire which we had put down to plugs so had to nurse it through the first 4 stages to get back to service.   Broke the gear shift off in 4th stage just before service.  Put plugs in for second loop and still had misfire for the second loop of 4 stages and broken shift.  We have also hit large rock in the dust on the last stage (see photo, you’ll spot that bugger) and have bent the steering.  Found blocked fuel filter at the end of the day“.    The hanging dust and low setting sun caused a lot of problems and the organisers had no choice but to cancel that stage with many cars having already completing the stage.

Day 2 on Saturday had fine weather with a good breeze to disperse the dust.  The miss in the Audi wasn’t resolved and Keough ran the Audi beast in limp mode, which only dropped him to 2nd fastest on the stage as Brinkman in the Cossie Escort took over the overall lead.  One of the lowlights of the event was the accident of Stuart Bowes/Pip Bennett (Mercedes 450 SLC) a former winner of the event.  When pushing hard at the start of the Mount Bryan stage he put a wheel into the soft stuff and tried to correct the car fishtailing but hit a rock sending it into a set of rolls.  Both driver and co-driver were OK thanks to the strength of the roll cage.  Unfortunately the mighty Audi Quattro was also retired after SS10 Box Creek with the misfire persisting.  The new Box Creek stage suited Selley and his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VII, beating Brinkman by a second and creeping into 2nd overall.  Darren Crozier in a Subaru Impreza STi N12 had a strong 4th place in the stage to back up his 4th fastest on SS9 Mount Bryan1.  Selley would take out stages SS11, SS12 and SS13 to put a stranglehold on the overall lead, as he now led by over 2mins from Tyler in the Mitsubishi Magna.  Nathan Quinn in a Mazda RX2 held 3rd outright with consistent finishes, and Crozier maintained 4th overall.  With the night stage SS14 Route 12-1 dropped by the SARC field, Quinn managed to grab 1st overall.

Rejoining the rally on the Sunday for the SARC class, Selley would again stamp his authority winning the SS15 Mongalata stage by a massive 24secs from Crozier in the Subaru.  The stage had a fast, relatively smooth first section before it entered the churned up part that had already been used twice in the rally.  Selley would then be fastest overall on SS16 Diesel and Dust 1 and the long 72km SS17 Route 12-2 stage.  However, despite the dominant showing, Nathan Quinn would still hold the outright 1st position due to the dropped stage for the SARC competitors.  Darren Crozier in the Subaru would take out the last stage Diesel and Dust 2 followed by Guy Tyler (Mitsubishi Magna) and Ross Yeadle (Ford Escort).  Overall placings for the event were:

  1. Nathan Quinn/David Green (Mazda RX2)
  2. Darkie Barr-Smith/Andrew Travis (Holden Commodore) – sneaking up through consistency
  3. James Leoncini/Mark Leoncini (Toyota Corolla 1600 GT TE71) – as above
  4. Jeffrey David/Grant Geelan (Porsche 911)
  5. Ross Yendle/Stephen McKinnon (Ford Escort)

SARC placings:

  1. Matt Selley/Hamish McKendrick (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VII)
  2. Darren and Michelle Crozier (Subaru WRX STI N12)
  3. Rob and Jane Hunt (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VI)
  4. Michael and Casey Mohr (Subaru WRX 2005)
  5. Andrew McNay/Liam Nuske (Holden Commodore 2012

Regularity placings:

  1. Stephan Barker/Mandy Rudham (Toyota Hilux 1998)
  2. Robert Dyer/Gerry Bashford (Peugeot 206 GTi 180)
  3. Robert and Anthony Edwards (Datsun 1600)

The photos below are only a very small selection of the photos available and only represent a mixture of entrants various angles at stages for variety.  ALL CARS THAT COMPLETED THE STAGES LISTED BELOW HAVE VARIOUS PHOTOS AVAILABLE.  Contact me via the website for photos/thumbnails of images available.   

When selecting a thumbnail image, click on the photo that appears again to open the larger version.

DAY 1 

SS4 Prologue 4 – Worlds End

SS8 Worlds End 2


SS9 Mount Bryan1

SS11 Route 21

SS13 Dust and Diesel


SS15 Mongalata

SS17 Route 12-2

SS18 Diesel and Dust 2