On Saturday in Modern Competition, Eddie Maguire and Zac Brakey (Dodge Viper ACR) continued to win stages, again all but one. Despite this, the winning margins were only a handful of seconds. Jeff Morton and Daymon Nicoli (Porsche GT2 RS) managed to win the Chain of Ponds 1 stage. By the end of the day the gap was about 32secs in the overall standings. The Nissan GTE R35 of Angus Kennard and Ian Wheeler continued their consistency and remained in 3rd outright. Mark Griffith and Neill Woolley moved their Mercedes A45S into 4th place after Ben Calder and Steve Glenney’s Audi TT RS+ developed a gearbox issue which forced them to retire. In Classic Competition, Jack Monkhouse and Chloe Bojko (Datsun 180B SSS) won all stages. The gap back to 2nd place was now near 3mins 30sec which was held by Andrew Booker and Neil Branum (Nissan Skyline DR30). Tom Dermody and Ryan Preston held into 3rd.
In Modern Challenge, Geoff Olholm and Matthew Sanders (2019 Toyota Supra GTS) were on a mission as they won the first five stages. However, Ben Auld and Lucy Barker (Porsche 997.2 GT3 CS) continued to hold the outright lead. Robert Bryden and Alex Bryden (2020 Lotus Exige) kept 3rd outright. Gordon Christie and and Nigel McGaffin (Volvo C60 Polestar) were in 4th. In Classic Challenge last year’s winner Lachlan Cox with Sam Martin (Ford Escort Mk1) won the first 2 stages, but then the Escort developed issues and they had to retire. By the end of the day William Coulter and Andrew Colliver (Toyota Sprinter AE86) were still in 1st place, nearly 5mins ahead of the next crews. Bill Lakstins and Anthony Wood kept their 2nd place overall, ahead of Dean Cook and Simon Richards (Ford Escort Mk1).
On Sunday (the final day if the event), in the Modern Competition category, Jeff Morton and Daymon Nicoli pushed their Porsche GT2 RS hard and won the twisty Aldgate Valley stage by 9secs over the Dodge Viper of Eddie Maguire and Zac Brakey, and then won two more stages later. This closed the gap up significantly, but in the end Morton had to settle for 2nd overall, only a mere 0.5sec behind Maguire after the 4days of rally stages! Angus Kennard and Ian Wheeler in the Nissan GTR R35’s consistency rewarded them with the 3rd podium place. In Classic Competition, Jack Monkhouse and Chloe Bojko continued to dominate on Sunday as they had all event (with the Datsun 180B SSS’s sequential gearbox being a major advantage) and won the category by about 4mins. Their efforts earnt them 4th outright in the entire event. This feat was even more impressive, being Jack’s first first tarmac competition using what is ultimately a gravel rally car, quite reminiscent of Michael Busby a few years ago in his Mazda RX7 when he tamed tarmac regular Craig Haysman. In Classic Competition, Andrew Booker and Neil Branum (Nissan Skyline DR30) finally got a stage win, Aldgate Valley and finished on the second step of the podium. Tom Dermody and Ryan Preston (Ford Escort Mk1) took the 3rd step. Heritage Trophy handicap honours went to Booker and Branum.
The Competition categories had remained static for pretty much the entire event with drivers holding their positions after every day. Modern Challenge however would throw up an excited unpredictable finish to the event. Ben Auld and Lucy Barker (Porsche GT3 CS) had been 1st outright at the end of the 3 days and held a comfortable 24sec cushion at the end of Saturday. Geoffrey Olholm and Matthew Sanders (Toyota Supra GTS) held the 2nd spot. Up for grabs would be the $5000 Challenge trophy. Olholm threw caution to the wind and went for it, winning the first 4 stages, reducing to the margin to a gettable 10secs. Then a stage win on Carey Gully Long 2 gave him the outright lead by a miniscule 0.5sec. Ben Auld would need to find something special to stop the Olholm juggernaut, but instead capitulated on the final stage. Olholm and Sanders dramatic fightback earnt them the top spot on the podium with Aude and Barker on the 2nd step. Robert Bryden and Alex Bryden’s consistency in the Lotus Exige earnt them the remaining spot on the podium. Classic Competition saw William Coulter and Andrew Colliver (Toyota Sprinter AE86) started strong, winning the first 3 stages on their merry way to 1st place. Bill Lakstins and Anthony Wood tried hard to reduce the large gap to Coulter, but it would be Dean Cook and Simon Richards (Ford Escort Mk1) with the bit between the teeth that would lead the charge, winning the last four stages of the day. Lakstins, on the other had would retire after the Aldgate Valley stage. Greg Cunningham and Rick Jacobs ( HDT-sponsorship 1976 Torana hatchback) grabbed the 3rd spot on the podium.