2019 Adelaide Hills Rally
September 19th to 22nd of September saw Guy Tyler make a remarkable return to the South Australian Rally Championship by winning the Final round at the Adelaide Hills Rally. After a two-year break from competitively driving, Tyler returned to the competition with South Australian stalwart of rallying Mike Dale in the navigator’s seat. Tyler was locked in a two-way battle with Zayne Admiraal who eventually completed the really in a dramatic second place. The second step of the podium was enough to secure Admiraal his first South Australian Rally Championship with co-driver Matthew Heywood. Coming in third place was another veteran of the sport in South Australia, Matt Selley, with an incredible drive in his Mark 2 Ford Escort to be mixing it with the All Wheel Drive WRX’s & Evo’s.
Admiraal started the rally with the clear intent of showing that his outright podium at last year’s ARC round in South Australia was no accident. Zayne set the fastest time for the SARC in a display to show that he would be a deserved winner, should he secure the 2019 SARC Championship in this final round of the season. Setting the quickest time on the Special Stage 1, Admiraal was not going to have the rally all his own way with Tyler hitting back on the following special stage. The battle went back and forth throughout the day with both drivers ending up with 5 stage wins each out of the 10 stages. The difference at the end of the day being 30km Monarto stage, where Tyler managed to pull out 30 seconds on Admiraal both times it was run. It must be said that Admiraal was super impressive on the night Super Special Stage at The Bend Motorsport park where he showed up most of the AP4 and R5 cars around the 1.67km track.
Admiraal had to start Day 2 with mixed intentions knowing that he had extended his lead in the championship after Heat 1. Only 2017 SARC Champion, Aaron Bowering and Jamie Pohlner could mathematically overtake Admiraal going into the round. Bowering suffered a racing injury a week out from the rally, ruling him out of competing, while Pohlner could only manage 4th after Heat1. This meant that finishing the event would all but guarantee that Admiraal would take the SARC season title for 2019. Without this pressure, Guy Tyler, who was not in contention for the championship could really push from the start of the day allowing to secure wins in 7 of the 8 special stages. Being the strong competitor he is, Admiraal still pushed on trying to take a few stages away from Tyler who was driving superbly. Zayne’s competitive edge almost saw his whole season come unstack as he hit a tee on the short and fast Special Stage 13, Anderson Hill stage. Thankfully for the young WRX driver, the damage was mostly superficial and he could push on, even taking the penultimate stage of the rally from Tyler. The same Anderson Hill stage that saw Admiraal redesign the rear of his car, also saw his only championship rival, Jamie Pohlner hit a tree with more substantial damage forcing him out of the rally.
Tyler who had been rivalling the times of the top ARC teams all day, came back on the final stage and put in another stellar drive to seal the Heat 2 and Round victory in the SARC category of the 2019 Adelaide Hills Rally.
2019 Adelaide Hills Rally – South Australian Rally Championship
1st – Guy Tyler / Mike Dale – Mitsubishi Evo 7 – 51 points
2nd – Zayne Admiraal / Matthew Heywood – Subaru WRX Sti – 40points
3rd – Matt Selley / Hamish McKenderick – Ford Escort Mk.2 – 33 points