Dust settles on Dalton, Moscatt's second straight Rally of the Bay win

CHAMPIONS: Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt won their second-straight Rally of the Bay on Saturday, June 29.
CHAMPIONS: Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt won their second-straight Rally of the Bay on Saturday, June 29.

Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt won their second-straight AMH Rally of the Bay in dominant fashion on Saturday, June 29, winning the five-stage race by more than 90 seconds.

Originally a six-stage race, the third stage was cancelled after a crash on the second-stage made the road impassable.

Dalton and Moscatt backed up their 2018 victory by winning three of the five stages in their Ford Fiesta to finish with a time of one hour, 13 minutes, and 56 seconds.

Richard Shimmon and Jim Gleeson finished second in their Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 7 (1:15:27), just 11 seconds ahead of Gavin Croker and Brad Fitzgerald, also in a Mitsubishi Lancer, in third.

Two European cars rounded out the top five, as Tony Sullens and Kaylie Newell (Citroen DS3) and Darren Windus and Joe Brkic (Volkswagen Polo) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Finishing the stages proved to be a tough ask, as only 42 of the 65 entrants completed the event.

Of those that did not finish, five were members of the top-10 cars that were considered favourites before the event.

Moruya's Peter Thompson was unfortunately part of the retirees, as he and co-drive Ken Hind crashed out on the fourth stage.

Bermagui's Jarra McKay Collins and River Gunn also failed to finish, pulling out in the sixth stage.

Race manager, Nigel Bland, said Dalton was a worthy winner.

"The first two stages were close, we were getting different winners, but Richie won all the stages in the afternoon once he got used to the car," he said. "He was very pleased, because it's the first win he's had in that particular car."

Mr Bland said the amount of finishers was about what was expected.

"In all, we had 42 cars finish," he said. "Five of them finished earlier because of their events, but the attrition was about what was expected.

"We lost one of the favourites, Glen Raymond, after about one-and-a-half kilometres, but that's the natures of this kind of sport.

"A couple of other really good cars that dropped out early were cars being tested, and they're very new.

"JJ Hatton (Hyundai i20) had a mechanical issue, and you don't put that type of car back on the road when something's wrong with them."

Mr Bland described the event as a success.

"The feedback we had from competitors and officials was that the day was an outstanding success," he said. "We were also lucky enough to be joined by Eurobodalla Shire Mayor, Liz Innes, in the morning to flag off the first few cars.

"The Bay put on a fantastic show for us with the weather, and we couldn't have asked for a better weekend. The roads were sensational, and everyone has raved about the Bay."