Michael and Erin Valantine achieved first outright in the 2017 Techworkz Automotive New South Wales Development Rally Series – or DRS. The MV Solar team of Father and Daughter, started out on a high, with a win at the first of the six-round series in their 2WD Datsun Stanza. The Singleton Automotive Caves Classic rally was the opening round, and a win here was exactly the start to the season Valantine was looking for.
Stages Ss10, 11 and 12 are now complete. The car had no brakes for the last 10km's of Ss10 so some running repairs were necessary before Ss11 which may have resulted in a late penalty. Ss11 was completed without incident. Further fuel issues were encountered on the Speedway circuit with the car stalling, but Michael managed to get it started to finish the section. At the last official update the team were running 13th but not yet clarified if that includes Ss12 - the Speedway.
The team are well rested after yesterday and final preparations were completed this morning. Tim and Michael are keen to get back out there and finish - using all their skill to bring it home with a strong result. Today's stages are underway. Good Luck MV Solar!!!
What a day!!! Challenging all round by all accounts - slippery roads with varying surfaces has proved challenging with quite a few competitors sliding off - looks like there could be a few DNF'S at the end of today. The MV Solar team are motoring along and had moved to 20th position at end of Ss3 this morning but the 1600 while mechanically travelling ok, has been a fuel guzzler - in fact running out at the beginning of Ss4. Dennis and Kerry got to them and refueled but were caught up in the Ss4 queue and had to wait it out before they could head to the spectator point. Dangerous conditions resulted in the cancellation of Ss4 and then Ss7 and Ss8, however Ss9 has now been completed and the crews are calling it a day in preparation for more action tomorrow.
Stage 1 of day 2 is underway. Weather is wet so hoping the road is not too slippery as a severe weather warning has been issued for the region. Michael and Tim will be out of range of the service crew for about an hour during this stage.
Day 1 complete and despite wet conditions the team have moved from 39th to 25th after 2 runs - 31st on Ss1 and 15th on 2. After a quick wash to get the mud off and a service, the Datsun 1600 is keen to hit the road again. All good mechanically but a once over of the radiator fans will make sure the little car is firing in the morning. Michael is finding the going a little sandy but he is on it and will find his groove tomorrow.
The MV Solar Rally team have headed to the 3 day Alpine Rally in Lakes Entrance Victoria - the most spectacular gravel rally for 2wd cars in Australia. Joining a capacity field of 125 competitors - with over 300 expressions of interest received, the team are beyond excited to be competing in this classic event this weekend.
The MV Solar Rally Team are riding on a high this week after both cars were successful at the 2015 John Giddings Memorial Rally of Orange on the weekend.
MV car number one was driver Michael Valantine and navigator Ross Plunkett, with Dennis Valantine behind the wheel of car number 2, joined by Tim Valantine as his navigator.
Everyone was excited to have two cars in the field for the weekend, which was only added to for it being Dennis' first rally in the drivers seat.
Team MV Solar preparing for the Orange Rally. Pic Dave King.