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Progressive British rally co-driver Phil Hall made the trip to Australia a worthwhile one last week, as he guided up-and-coming native star Rhys Pinter to a class win at the National Capital Rally.

Just weeks after returning from New Zealand where Hall contested the International Rally Whangarei with Rhys Gardner, Hall returned to the Southern Hemisphere, taking the RC4 honours at the Canberra based event in a Fiesta R2.

Hall, selected for the MSA Academy development programme is no stranger to events in the country, contesting Rally Australia two years in a row in 2015 and 2016. The backed co-driver received the call-up once again by Pinter to tackle the FIA Asia Pacific and Australian Rally Championship round and had no hesitation in returning to the country.

The two day event provided over 230km of competitive action in the tricky forests around the Canberra rally base. After the city centre ceremonial start on Friday night, the opening stages on Saturday morning proved to be tougher than usual with a damp start to the event making the conditions treacherous.

But that didn’t faze Hall and his experience in tricky weather back at home played its part in ensuring the 1600cc Fiesta could set times quicker than several four wheel drive turbocharged machinery in the event. Sadly just one stage from home on the opening leg, suspension failure sent the Ford into the scenery and unable to continue, his day ended prematurely.

Thankfully, with just minor damage to the Fiesta, Hall was able to re-start under Rally 2 on the second day and the duo continued where they left off. Setting times comparable to many four wheel drive machines, Hall guided Pinter to a very well deserved class victory and 11th overall.

“It’s been a really tough event and today (Sunday) was pretty treacherous going” said Hall. “But it’s great to come away with a class win and take the fight to four wheel drive crews. Sadly Saturdays issue meant we couldn’t challenge for a top ten but I`m really happy to bag another great finish in Australia.”

Hall is enjoying his time in Australasia and is keen to expand his CV with further outings.

“The FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship is a fantastic series and I really enjoy contesting events in their calendar” he says. “Likewise, the New Zealand and Australian domestic championships have a real buzz about them so I’m certainly looking ahead to see if there are further opportunities available here. I’m developing new relationships all the time so it would be great to enhance those further still in the coming months.”

Images – Wishart Media.

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