2019 Round 5 – Bonalbo Rally

MTA NSW Rally Championship 2019 Round 5 Bonalbo Rally, Bonalbo, NSW 20 July

An inaugural event saw MTA NSW Rally Championship, Queensland Championship and East Coast Classic Rally Series come together, with 49 cars and crews taking to stages throughout Bonalbo on Saturday 20th July.

The fight for the MTA NSW Rally Championship was back on, as championship leaders Richard Shimmon and Jim Gleeson still had to defeat Victorian Glen Raymond and Kate Catford. Doubt was cast over Glen Raymond and Kate Catford’s return to the championship after that “big stack” in their Evo 9 at the Rally of the Bay three weeks ago. Luckily the Bergman family stepped in to assist, offering Raymond his old Subaru Liberty/ Legacy.

Glenn Brinkman and Harvey Smith returned to the challenge in their Lancer Evo 9, Glenn was also the sponsor of the event.  Despite the disadvantage of being 1st car and having to sweep the road the pair had a good run and only missed the top podium position by a mere 11 seconds.

After a consistently fast run Shimmon and Gleeson took third outright in the Evo 7. ” We don’t go crazy on tyres” said Gleeson before the rally. “This event will be new for everyone here, so we’re going to do what we do and see where we end up." It has been a plan that has worked during the series until now and places them ahead of the championship, heading to the final Round 6 on 19th October in Cooma, NSW.

Crashing heavily Kent not unlike Raymond, experienced a very difficult last round however, made it to Bonalbo and was focused on staying strong in the MTA NSW Rally Championship. Kent felt the car handled much like a rear drive. It made for a great view, and Bonalbo wasn’t bad for both co-driver Peter Hellwig and Tristen, but in the end his bright orange Lancer Evo 9 finished 4th.

Tony Sullens and Kaylee Newell landed in a great fifth outright and first 2WD was the Citroen DS3. This Rally like the last provided optimum conditions for the crew and vehicle, despite having a gearbox issue at the beginning of stage 1, luckily it did not reoccur.

Our reigning champions of rounds 1 to 3 Raymond and Kate, did not do as well in their Subaru and came in 6th. Raymond’s commitment paid off as this result takes the championship to the final round.

MTA NSW congratulates not only all competitors who have come this far and strived so hard in each round, but also to The Accent Benchtops Working Dog Rally, a real credit to the Gold Coast Tweed Car Club for running the event. Also, thank you to all the locals, officials and volunteers of Bonalbo and surrounding areas for making everyone feel welcome.

19th October will see the MTA NSW Rally Championships decider take place at Monaro Stages, Cooma NSW.


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