Forest Rally 2001 - Pyyvaara/McLoughlin 2000 Aussie Car Cup Winners

2nd Aussie Car Class Australian Championship Heat 1

2nd PRC4 (2000cc+) Australian Championship Heat 1

First time entrant's in this year's Forest Rally in Western Australia, 321 GO! Rallying!'s Pyyvaara/McLoughlin have come away from the event encouraged by their pace but disappointed to have had problems on the opening stage of each day. Continuing with the pace set last year the team were extremely pleased to be one of the quicker crews on Friday night beating many of the more fancied 4wd, turbo charged competitors on the half bitumen/half dirt super special stage.

(Photos courtesy Neil Blackbourn)

Unfortunately a large dip on the first forest stage on Saturday saw the team lose five and a half minutes due to a fuel pump becoming damaged internally. A concerted effort from the team to climb back through the field of 67 entrants saw their efforts rewarded with 2nd in class and 25th outright - with seconds separating the fastest Aussie car crews throughout the entire day. "After the loss of the time we really concentrated on being consistent" commented Pyyvaara. "The conditions are quite rough with many large rocks being exposed and deep trenches in braking zones making it a tough event on all the vehicles - apart from the early troubles the car has run extremely reliably. To come back from last in class to second has been a fantastic effort by the entire team".

Heat 2 again saw the team lose time in the first competitive stage with a flat 3km from the finish control. "We drove on the flat to minimize time and lost only 30 seconds to the quickest Aussie car, pulling into the end control with only the rim left on the car." commented Pyyvaara. "Unfortunately we had also damaged the differential which subsequently broke on the next stage ending our event. This is our first DNF since building the car due to mechanical failure so we are a little disappointed but we have also learnt a lot - we are really looking forward to the next event for us which is Rally Qld - our home event where we expect to be very quick".

The team mascot, Ralph, was again a focal point and was seen with his new partner, Doreen, who was keeping a close watch on him throughout the event. Ralph is now riding shotgun in all events for the duration, thrilling spectators as the car is skillfully piloted through the narrow forest roads of Australia. The 321 GO! Rallying! team is one to watch for throughout the 2001 season - the Aussie Car's are hot this year and with more regular contenders it is going to be a very competitive season. To watch the team in action be sure to tune in to the Forest Rally television coverage which is on Channel 10 this week-end at 2:30.

Next Event : Aussie Car Shootout - World Rally Championship Perth, Previous Event : Saxon Safari

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