Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
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The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX driven by Scott Pedder with
Glen Weston won two of the seven forest stages in the second
heat around Nannup (WA) and was second in three others.
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22nd May, 2006
Team Mitsubishi Ralliart fought back from a crash that put it out of the first heat of Western Australia's Quit Forest Rally to take a galant third place in the second heat.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX driven by Scott Pedder with Glen Weston won two of the seven forest stages in the second heat around Nannup, inland from Busselton, and was second in three others.
The TMR crew who had worked late into Saturday night repairing the extensive damage to the Evo IX after its crash on the second forest stage of the first heat fine-tuned it, particularly in the rear suspension, throughout Sunday.
Pedder and Weston set the second fastest time on the first forest stage Sunday and were then second, first, second and first on the last four stages to edge Subaru driver Dean Herridge out of third place in the heat.
Toyota's Simon Evans and Neal Bates finished first and second in each heat.
Pedder was delighted to score third-place points Sunday after the disappointment of Saturday's crash, in which the car got loose in gravel, speared off the road, and down a bank.
Because the field had to make a second pass over that stage it was only late on Saturday that the car could be removed.
The TMR crew then worked feverishly for several hours in the service park in the main street of Nannup to repair it for Sunday's stages.
"There was a lot of panel damage to the rear end, mainly the boot lid and the back half of the roof, and we had to change the intercooler, oil cooler and the front control arms," TMR principal Alan Heaphy said.
"The guys did a terrific job in repairing the car by about 11 PM Saturday and to have it finish in the top three in the second heat is a great credit to everyone involved."
Heaphy lamented that TMR had not had more time to test its new brake package, with four-piston calipers front and rear and bigger disks, only recently homologated by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the world governing body of motor sport.
The package was fitted to the Evo IX last Monday and only tested on Tuesday near Perth.
"We'll be in better shape with these new brakes for the next round (of the NEC Computers Australian Rally Championship, the Coates Rally Queensland on the Sunshine Coast on 16th - 18th June)," Heaphy said.
Pedder said the TMR crew had already made some "quite dramatic changes" during Sunday's heat.
"They put in a fantastic effort under extreme circumstances Saturday night, then backed up and did some great work throughout Sunday.
"We'll keep working away together and get our reward."
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