THE Limestone Coast rally crew of Philip and Damien Wilson returned from Victoria with a podium finish in a tough competition on the weekend.
The pair were joined by fellow Limestone Coasters Kevin Millard and Adam Branford, in the town of Wesburn to compete at the ADA River Rally – Round 2 of the Victorian Rally Championship and Round 1 of the Victorian Club Rally Series.
Saturday’s pace noting saw constant drizzling rain, which forced the cancellation of stage four and repeated later on stage eight.
But with only relatively short stages, the weekend still provided an entertaining and competitive event.
Sunday started early, with final preparation and car pre-start warm ups, before a break in the weather saw crews take advantage of the clear skies.
Mechanical failure and slipping off the road took their toll on the field, which reduced finishers of both the VRC and VCRS.
A small issue hampered the crew of Millard and Branford in their Datsun 1600, which forced them to stop mid-stage to fault find and repair, then continue on.
From there they had a trouble-free run to the finish, with 17th outright in the VRC.
However, some promising stage times should see the crew push for better results in the next event.
Philip and Damien Wilson pushed their Toyota Soarer to the limit through the mud, then made use of a small gap on the road to go hard in the remaining stages.
They arrived at the service break at the mid-point of the event two and a half minutes behind the eventual VCRS round winner, but still clear of third place by 60 seconds.
News at service confirmed the cancellation of stage six due to unsafe roads, which left the crew with one 29km stage to challenge for first place.
The two pressed hard, but the surface conditions had dramatically changed from their first pass, which required an adjustment from attacking to survive-and-finish mode.
They eventually claimed second place, three minutes behind the VCRS winner and 90 seconds ahead of third.