Good deed costs Bishop the lead in rally championship

A GOOD deed cost Nanango driver Rob Bishop the lead in the Queensland Rally Championship on Saturday.

Last year's champion, Ian Menzies, encountered problems with his car.

Instead of leaving Menzies by the wayside, Bishop lent him a helping hand.

"I put my laptop on it and worked out what the fault was," Bishop said.

"You certainly won't see that in any other forms of motorsport."

With Menzies' car repaired he raced to the lead in the first round of the Queensland Rally Championship held in east Nanango and Manumbar.

Bishop lost the most amount of time in the night stages when he was hampered by a curtain of dust kicked up by Menzies.

Even with a two-minute gap Bishop said the dust was blinding.

"In the night stages it got real dusty which cost us a bit of time, we lost 20sec," he said.

The time gap in the next stage was extended to three minutes which helped but Bishop made a mistake which cost more time.

In the end of the first round Bishop and navigator Neill Woolley finished third outright and second in the Queensland Rally Championship.

Bishop said the roads used in the first round were some of the best he had raced on.

The roads through state forest offered a blend of fast and flowing sections which were broken up by tight and technical stages.

"Some of that fast and flowing stuff is very enjoyable," Bishop said.

"The top guys were pushing up there."

Bishop said the top drivers hit speeds of more than 180kmh at some stages.

Technical issues cost Bishop further time but he was still able to hold himself up at the weekend.

"We had a few issues with the car and lost a bit of horsepower but we got those fixed," he said.

Bishop will take his Kinetic Resources Mitsubishi Evolution 6 Lancer to the next round in Wowan, inland of Rockhampton, on July 14.

"I've never competed there myself but from what I've heard it's very fast on open shire roads," he said.

Shaun and Chris Cassidy were forced out of the rally after a crash. Photo Keagan Elder / South Burnett Times
Shaun and Chris Cassidy were forced out of the rally after a crash. Photo Keagan Elder / South Burnett Times Keagan Elder

Not so lucky

IT WAS all over just as it started for Rockhampton's father and son Shaun and Chris Cassidy in the first round of the Queensland Rally Championship.

Shaun was behind the wheel when he took a corner "fairly exuberant" and crashed into a bank to bend the steering shaft in the first stage on Saturday morning.

"We've wrecked $400 worth of tyres getting back here (to the pits)," Shaun said.

Shaun said the bent steering shaft of his Datsun 1600 wore out the brand new set of front tyres.

But his worries extended beyond the worn rubber.

"It's going to have to go to the panel beaters," he said.

Unsure of how much the repairs would cost, Shaun said the crash might have ended their hopes in the championship.

"If we can, we'll be there (at the next round)," he said.

"We were having a ball, we just made a mistake."

Shaun said he thought Chris, who was his navigator, would be irritated but knew crashes were all part of the sport.

Shaun and Chris modified the Datsun to race in the P3 class. "We actually built it. It was Chris' road car," he said.

This is not the first rally incident Shaun and Chris have had in the South Burnett; the pair had a minor crash at the Benarkin round of the Queensland Rally Championship last November.

Outright results

  • 1st Tristan and Andrew Carrigan
  • 2nd Ian Menzies and Robert McGowan
  • 3rd Rob Bishop and Neill Woolley

  Queensland Rally Championship

  • 1st Ian Menzies and Robert McGowan
  • 2nd Rob Bishop and Neill Woolley
  • 3rd Kent Lawrence and James Wilson

  Multi Club outright results

  • 1st Steve Allmark and Chris Miller
  • 2nd Shaun and Annette Dragona
  • 3rd Glenn Mitchell and Peter Clydesdale

  Queensland novice series

  • 1st Richard and Georgina Taylor 
  • 2nd Morgan Douglas and Jennifer Garth