Eddie and Steve Maguire dominate 2017 Tasmanian rally championship

North-West brothers Eddie and Steve Maguire scored a historic one-two finish in the Tasmanian rally championship series following the fourth and final round at Southport.

Eddie entered the weekend leading the series but needed to complete the first heat of eight stages in his Mitsubishi Lancer 9 to wrap up his first state championship.

Eddie and navigator Michael Potter were on the pace early before a puncture on the fifth stage put a dent in their overall standings.

However, they responded emphatically to win the next stage and finish the first heat in fifth outright to claim the championship.

With the title in the bag, Eddie promptly withdrew from the event to make the long trip back home for the impending birth of his first child, and was eventually classified as finishing the event 19th overall.

The first heat was won by Huon Valley pair Bodie Reading and Alex Malcolm in a Subaru Impreza WRX STi, finishing 45 seconds ahead of Steve and Hobart’s Stuart Benson in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5.

The second heat’s two stages were significantly longer than previous stages to the delight of Devonport crew Tim Auty and Josh Sutcliffe in their Mazda 332 GTR.

They had the third fastest time on stage nine and won the 10th to clinch the second heat and finish third overall, just six seconds behind Steve and Benson.

First heat winners Reading and Malcolm finished fourth in heat nine and were second fastest on the final stage to finish third for the heat and claim the round victory.

Steve’s result was enough to elevate him into second in the championship behind his brother, while fourth-placed former Targa Tasmania champion Jamie Vandenberg and Adrian Hodgetts in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5 claimed third outright for the championship to complete a podium clean-sweep for North-West Car Club members.

Adrian Hodgetts took out back-to-back navigator’s championships with consistent results during the season, while Hobart duo Matt How and Nathan Walker, driving a BMW 325i, won the two-wheel-drive section of the Southern Safari, with fastest class times in stages five and nine.

Fellow Southern crew Aiden Peterson and Gavin Johnson were leading the championship heading into the final round, but encountered mechanical dramas with their Daihatsu Charade, which ultimately cost them the 2WD championship.

Somerset-Devonport combination Nic Grave and Craig Sheahan finishing second on the day to Launceston’s Ben Newman and Steve Glenney to snag the non-turbo Subaru Impreza RS carsto class series.