FORMER state rally champion Lynn Rattray and co-driver James Heinrich scored a win in both heats of last weekend's third round of the Tasmanian Rally Series after series leaders Marcus Walkem and Damien Grimwood encountered brake problems in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.
Rattray and stand-in co- driver Heinrich in their Subaru WRX had a great battle with the Mitsubishi team in the four-stage heat1, with a final gap of only eight seconds at the end of 60 competitive kilometres.
However, the second heat saw Walkem- Grimwood drop down to seventh place after losing over three minutes on the last two stages due to having virtually no brakes because of severe damage to a brake caliper caused by an errant rock.
That dropped them down to fourth overall for the round and put some pressure on them to win the series with only the mountain stages rally to go.
The ever-consistent Andrew Wylie and stand in co-driver Ben Sheldrick finished third in heat1 and second in heat2 for second overall in the Subaru WRX, and with only one round to go could still take out the title as they are in second place - only 14 points behind Walkem- Grimwood.
The Subaru WRX team of Keith Abbitt and Adrian Hodgetts finished fourth in both heats to finish third overall for the round and are now third in the series, 20 points behind Wylie.
The overall two-wheel- drive class was taken out by Kade Barrett and David Weldon in the Plymouth Fire Arrow after a troubled run in heat1 but a brilliant run in heat2, which saw them finish third for the heat and fifth overall in the event.
Darren Clark and stand- in co-driver Zara White finished second in the two- wheel-drive class in the Mazda RX7, but it was enough for Clark to wrap up the 2WD class for drivers for the series.
The mountain stages rally will be run by the Motor Sports Club of Tasmania on October 26.
CONGRATULATIONS to the Neil Buckby Motors team of Ben Newman and Crichton Lewis who took out the showroom four- wheel-drive class of last weekend's Targa Adelaide in their Subaru WRX STi.
It was the first win for the Launceston team, who had previously scored three podium results without making it on to the top step.
In treacherous conditions the team had a great battle with the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 of West Australians Stewart Liddle and Michael Lloyd, with both teams trading places and at times only separated by one second.
Unfortunately, the WA team crashed out on day3, leaving the door open for Newman-Lewis to come home one minute and 32 seconds in front of the Evo 10 of Clinton Arentz and Peter Burrey.
The Subaru team finished fifth overall in the standings, which was an impressive result considering the calibre of the competition.
Tasmanians Jason and John White had to settle for second outright in the Lamborghini to the Steve Glenney and Bernie Webb Nissan R35, while former state rally champion Jamie Vandenberg finished fourth in the Dennis Sims- owned Nissan R35.