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Possum perfect up north
Possum Bourne cleans up in Queensland and takes the ARC lead
18 Jun 2001
By BRUCE NEWTON
NEW Zealand's Possum Bourne has scored outright victory at the 2001 Rally Queensland, leading home traditional rival Neal Bates during both heats.
Bourne steered clear of the mechanical gremlins that have hampered his Subaru Impreza World Rally Car during the first two rounds of the Australian Rally Championship while Bates could only look on as the Subaru driver demolished the field.
In Group N Cody Crocker rescued his weekend with a heat 2 win after last stage dramas during heat 1 relegated the production Subaru to the back of the top 20.
Crocker powered over Sunday's seven special stages to finish 30 seconds ahead of Mitsubishi's Ed Ordynski who performed consistently but couldn't match the outright pace of Crocker's Impreza WRX. Ordynski, however, claimed third outright following Bourne and Bates.
Behind the leading factory cars a battle royale ensued between the leading privateer production competitors for the final Group N placing, Simon Evans finally overcoming Mark Thompson for the position, while Scott Pedder backed up his impressive heat 1 result with fourth outright for the weekend and the leading privateer award.
Bourne's clean sweep of both heats in Queensland in his Subaru Impreza WRC2000 takes him to the top of the national championship points table with 76 points, eight clear of Bates' Toyota Corolla WRC on 68 points.
Bourne headed north for Rally Queensland knowing the importance of a victory in the second of the five-round championship.
"The win has provided us with a good buffer over Neal and leaves me feeling very confident that I have the car that do the business over the rest of the season.
"Yesterday morning the set-up wasn't right for me but after some changes we knew we had it sorted. Today we had a really clear run with a very fast car and won all but the last stage." Bourne's winning margin in heat one was 1:44 sec and in heat 2 he finished 39 sec clear of Bates with Crocker back in third place. Over the weekend, the Impreza was fastest on 15 of the 17 stages.
Ordynski now has 72 championship points to Crocker's 60, with the third round of the series being the new Coopers Pale Ale Rally of South Australia on July 6-8.
"It's great to be in front in the (Showroom Production drivers) championship with the next round being my home event," Adelaide-based Ordynski said.
"What the event in Queensland has emphasised yet again is that you've got to have raw speed all the way through a rally and you've got to get to the finish. It's not easy, but we've done that this weekend and it's a very good result for us." Provisional Results Heat One Falken Rally Queensland
Bourne/Vincent Subaru Impreza WRC2000 P5 1:04:26
Bates/Taylor Toyota Corolla WRC P5 +1:44
Ordynski/Stewart Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3 N4 +2:59
Pedder/Humm Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3 P5 +4:58
Herridge/Carlton Subaru Impreza WRX N4 +4:29
Lowndes/Randell Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 N4 +5:03 Provisional results Rally Queensland Heat Two
Bourne/Vincent Subaru Impreza WRC2000 P5 55.44
Bates/Taylor Toyota Corolla WRC P5 +35
Crocker/Foletta Subaru Impreza WRX N4 +2:08
Ordynski/Stewart Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3 N4 +2:38
Pedder/Humm Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3 P5 +3:18
Evans/Evans Subaru Impreza WRX N4 +3:57 Next round: South Australia, July 6-8
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