Stratford dominates Marysville

Tuesday 10 May, 2022
Photos: Bruce Keys
Adrian Stratford and Kain Manning have dominated the latest round of the Till Hino Motorsport Australia Victorian Rally Championship to secure a second consecutive victory.
 
Taking place in Marysville, the Sheen Panel Service Ringwood Marysville Stages saw 44 crews brave the extremely cold conditions and tackle seven stages across two heats.
 
Behind the wheel of the Subaru Impreza WRX, Stratford and Manning were just too good for the rest of the field as they won all seven stages to storm home to a six-minute victory – all while not damaging their car.
 
Finishing in second place was another Subaru, which belonged to PN5 class winners Glen Raymond and Kate Catford, who enjoyed a semi-comfortable run to the podium of their own.  

With Luke Sytema and Tracey Dewhurst steering their Ford Escort RS180 to the Classic class win and third outright in a highly impressive performance, it marked three different classes on the diverse podium.

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However, the day truly belonged to the winners, who couldn’t put a foot wrong all day.
 
Starting off strong, the duo had charged to a lead of more than two minutes by the end of the first heat with an accumulated time of 46 minutes and 17 seconds, the next best placed crew being Richard Galle and Claire Buccini with a time of 48 minutes and 33 seconds.

In the second heat, Stratford and Manning continued to dominate but not before the Heat’s first stage, where RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) winner Nathan Quinn and co-driver Ray Winwood-Smith came within a second of drawing with them.
 
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However, that’s as close as anyone got to Stratford as he ended up winning the remaining three heats by comfortable margins, including a day-high two minute and eight second victory on the penultimate stage.
 
With many crews struggling to handle the conditions, Stratford was pleased to take out his second win for the year and was thrilled in the manner for which he did so.
 
“It was a really good day and quite surreal to win by that sort of margin,” Stratford said.
 
“It was one of those rallies where everything worked, but to be honest, I don’t know how it worked out so well.
 
“We didn’t have a single mark for the whole day even though nearly everyone in the top 10 had some form of niggle as the roads were highly unpredictable and hard.
 
“I think what really helped us were the Zestino Tyres being so good in the wet, as well as making no mistakes. We were able to do so because we just drove our own rally and didn’t push.

AK0006846aa“This weekend we set out with a goal to get points, and we walked away with maximum points, which was great.
 
“A big thanks to all our sponsors and the officials for braving the conditions to put on the event.”
 
Click here to view the full results.

 
It’s a big break for the Till Hino Motorsport Australia Victorian Rally Championship now with the next round being the Gippsland Rally on 27-28 August, which is also run with the ARC. 
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