Selected photos from the 2020 SARC Adelaide Hills Rally run in the Adelaide Hills and Mid Murray Motorplex near Cambrai on 17-18 October 2020. The event ran over two days comprising a separate heat for each day. On Sunday morning were the traditional forest road stages of Mt Crawford stage (although with modifications), Telephone Road stage and Mt Pleasant stage (new one? in pine plantations) before heading east to Gap Road north of Palmer and the iconic pine Hut Road stage (used during the Festival State Rally days). All stages were to be run twice.
The first 3 stages saw Guy Tyler and Mike Dale (Mitsubishi EVO9) once again take an early lead in Heat 2, winning two of the stages and a 2nd for the other. Zayne Admiraal and Matthew Heywood (Subaru WRX) recorded two 2nd fastest times but fell away a little on Telephone Road 1 (SS22) with only a 5th fastest time, but still held down 2nd place overall. Luke Anear and Andy Sarandis were to end a disappointed rally when their Ford Fiesta R5 developed problems in Mt Pleasant 1 (SS23) and they were unable to continue the rally. Aaron Bowering and Heath Weedon (Subaru WRX) maintained a steady pace at the pointy end of the field with three 3rd fastest times to be in 3rd overall. Jamie Pohlner and Adam Branford (Subaru WRX), similarly were consistent with their three 4th fastest stage times. Daren Herring and Matthew Woods (Subaru WRX) recorded a fine 5th fastest on Mt Pleasant 1 (SS23). The morning was marred by the bad accident of Daniel Blakemore and Chris Skinner which landed Daniel in hospital.
After the good start for Heat 2, the wheels would come of for Admiraal on the next stage, the rerun of Mt Crawford when they had to retire from the event with a broken driveshaft. Tyler would also see gremlins inhabit the Mitsubishi EVO9, recording a lowly 30th fastest time to plummet to 22nd overall. The misfortune of those other former leaders opened the door wide open for Bowering and his fastest time on Mt Crawford 2 (SS24) saw him grab the outright lead. Herring would back up his 5th fastest time with another 5th, but the surprise was Kristian Wohlstadt and Alison Short (Subaru WRX) snatch 3rd fastest time. Telephone Road 2 stage was dropped from the program after the Blakemore accident, so only Mt Pleasant 2 stage (SS26) remained of the forest stages. Bowering wasn’t headed and started to build on his lead with a substantial 1min 10sec faster time than the 2nd fastest Pohlner. Herring was driving with confidence now, and his 3rd fastest time on Mt Pleasant 2 was testament to this. Also rising through the ranks had been Paul Knopka and Neil Branum (Subaru WRX) having recorded 6th, 7th, 8th, 7th and 9th fastest times and now holding down 4th overall.
Gap Road stage provided fast flowing council roads and a pass through the narrow Rathjen Gap in the middle of the stage. Bowering had a good rhythm and cleaned up the two Gap Road stages and the first of the Pine Hut Road stages with fastest times. He would only drop back to 2nd fastest stage time for the final Pine Hut Road stage, but there was no chance of knocking him from the top step of the podium. Herring achieved even greater results with the council roads suiting his Subaru and his driving style recording 2nd fastest on the first 3 stages, before grabbing the big one, fastest run through Pine Hut Road 2. He would be rewarded with 3rd overall for the heat. Pohlner managed to maintain 2nd spot overall with a mixed bag of times. Rob Hunt and Jeremy Brown (Mitsubishi EVO5) had struggled a little in the early forest stages, but started building momentum and confidence to eventually take 6th fastest time on the last of those stages. Once on the council roads they were flying and their EVO5 propelled them to 6th fastest on Gap Road 1 (SS27) and then 3rd fastest on Pine Hut Road 1 (SS28). They then went on to take 3rd fastest in the final two stages to finish the heat in 4th overall. Knopka held onto 5th overall.
SS21 Mt Crawford 1
SS4 Mt Crawford 2
SS26 Mt Pleasant 2
SS27 Gap Road 1
SS29 Gap Road 2