Pinter Takes Positive’s from Narooma Forest Rally

Young Canberran Rally Driver, Rhys Pinter contested his first event on home soil in Australia after a brief stint in the UK contesting the British Rally Championship.

Driving his own Ford Fiesta R2 at the Narooma Forest Rally, Rhys and Co-Driver Steve Fisher showed brilliant speed throughout the day until an Alternator belt snapped on stage 5 with the pair sitting in 15th outright of 52 starters. 

The day got off to a small drama with Rhys overshooting just 400 metres into the first stage as brakes and tyres were cold. “I made a real rookie mistake! I warmed the brakes up but was held at the start line cooling the brakes and tyres and unfortunately was a bit too eager early on. These things happen and it was great that we didn’t do any damage”.

After losing around 25 seconds, the pair got into the groove on the second stage and set the 19th fastest time. The crew returned to service where the crew made some adjustments to make Rhys and Steve go even quicker.

Stage 3 was a bit of a disappointment as the car in front got stuck in a creek, which cost Rhys 2 minutes, as they had to wait for the car to be towed out. “It was a little disappointing as the whole stage we were on it, however we spoke to the officials and received a mutually agreed time which put us into 17th rather than 29th!”

Stage 4 and a re run of stage 1 was a sign of what is to come for the rest of 2016, Rhys and Co-Driver Steve were absolutely flying in the little Fiesta taking on the faster 4wd cars and beating them. Rhys took a fantastic 11th outright on stage to propel them into the top 15 and the way they were driving an incredible top 10 for the Rally seemed possible.

Unfortunately it was not to be as only 1 kilometre into stage 5 the alternator belt snapped which sent coolant gushing into the windscreen and put Rhys and Steve out for the Rally. 

Not to be disappointed, The Atlantic Oils powered Fiesta ran fantastically all day with some fantastic stage times showing what the pair could do when the car was hooked up it shows what Rhys had learned in the UK and what he and the car is capable of. “It was disappointing but also very exciting! I can’t wait to get back in the car and give it a crack especially with Rally Australia coming up”

The team will fix the belt issue and give the car a do over in preparation for November’s Rally Australia part of the World Rally Championship, however before then, Rhys plans to run a couple small shakedown events in October in his home town of Canberra to make sure the speed stays!

Rhys thanks the ongoing support from Atlantic Oils, DAMESA Industries, Cross fit SFS


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11 Aug, 2016