Dwyer’s Fourth Robertstown
Declan Dwyer and Craig Adams have become only the second back-to-back winners in the history of the Copyworld Walky 100 Rally, Jim Conaghty and Jeremy Browne having achieved the feat in the event’s first two years, 1984 and 1985.
It was Dwyers fourth win and Adams’s third in the event.
Based at Robertstown in the state’s mid-north region on August 12, it was the third round of the 2017 MRF Tyres South Australian Rally Championship with Copyworld celebrating 10 years as naming rights sponsorship of the Walkerville All Cars Club event.
Dwyer and Adams (Mitsubishi Evo VI) finished one minute 41 seconds ahead of pointscore leaders Aaron Bowering and Nathan Lowe (Subaru WRX), in turn three minutes 26 seconds in front of third-placed Paul Heenan and Mike Dale’s Ralliart Mitsubishi VR4.
Third behind Dwyer and Bowering on the opening two stages, Northern Territory’s Ben Kittle and Caroline Vale (Mitsubishi Evo X) had a flat rear tyre on Pumping Station 1, costing more than 3 minutes, dropping them to 15th.
Shane Alker and Karien Heimsohn (Nissan 200 SX) moved up to third, a second ahead of Heenan, equal fourth with Marc Butler and Peter Sims (Honda Civic).
It was Heenan’s first rally for three years.
Paul George and Liam Bache (Datsun 1600) and Daniel Blakemore and Chris Skinner (Toyota Corolla) dropped out early with problems, but restarted later.
The rerun of Scrubby Hills, Long Dips and Pumping Station had Dwyer and Bowering pulling away from the rest of the field, Kittle, Heenan and Alker taking the next spots.
Kittle had climbed up to eighth after the first runs of Hill Big One, Juliayne and Roast, setting second-fastest times to Dwyer, whilst Alker dropped to sixth on worn tyres, behind Butler and NSW’s Mark Beard and Scott Beckwith (Subaru Impreza RS).
The same three stages were then re-run in the dark, Dwyer and Bowering again leading the field, with Alker, now on new tyres, tying for third on Hill Big One 2 with Heenan and Butler.
Craig Haysman and Julie Boorman (Triumph TR7 V8) were the event’s first retirement, losing their lighting with an electrical fault.
On Juliayne 2 Dwyer headed Alker by seven seconds, with Bowering and Kittle only a second further back.
Dwyer was six seconds up on Bowering in the final Roast 2 with Alker third, just one second ahead of Butler.
Steve Rowe and Dave Rodham’s Toyota Celica GT4 went out with electrical problems on the stage, to be the only other non-finisher.
At the end of the night Alker was fourth outright and first 2WD, eight seconds behind Heenan, with Butler 21 seconds in arrears, in turn one minute up on Kittle.
Having led Classic from the start, Phil Kerr and Jenny Cole’s Datsun 1600 was 10th outright, well ahead of Bruce and Darrin Field’s Mercedes Benz 280 SE and Aaron Lowe and Matt Monto’s Commodore.
With Dwyer and Adams not registered for the Championship, Bowereing and Lowe have scored maximum points in each round.
Round 4 of the MRF Tyres S.A. Rally Championship is Lightforce Rally of SA on 16-17 September.
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