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London to Sydney Marathon

5th June - 4th July 2004

Day 28 Noosa to Glen Innes


Today was The Big Day in the forests with over an hour and half of racing through three of the classic Queensland stages.

This really was where the two action men of the event treated spectators to some of the finest on the edge driving seen for a long time. On the famous Imbil stage McAndrew was just 8 seconds faster that the rejuvenated McRae after 40 minutes of hold-your-breath action. And they were over a whole minute quicker than Montgomery and Lorimer who tied for third place.

The second stage - Ten Mile Road - was another 23 minutes of controlled fervour and stone clattering precision by McAndrew with McRae just 4 seconds behind him. "This is a heck of lot more fun than being towed," said Jimmy who had spend two days and over a 1,000 kms on a tow rope before getting his head gasket replaced.

On the last stage of the day it was Jimmy's turn to sock it to Joe and he screeched in 9 seconds ahead of the Kiwi.

McRae, back in 12th place has nothing to lose but McAndrew holding a solid first place and a 16 minute lead has everything to lose. But the two of them with nine national championships between them are two seasoned racers who only know how to go hard. McAndrew thinks that cruising is what pensioners do on ocean liners.

One place ahead of McRae are little Aussie battlers Bob Almond and Paul Benko in their classic Datsun in 11th place aiming for a top ten finish.

Others were less fortunate, the demons of the forest came out and ruined Gary Leeson's Falcon gearbox, Phil Hooper's Leyland P76 rear axle made terminally bad noises, Paul Darrouzet's battered Capri got stuck on a pile of road side rocks and he collected maximum penalties on all three stages.

Freddie Preston and David Harrison, both veterans of the 1968 event, in the tiny Suzuki, went off the road and the word is that Mr Suzuki wouldn't recognise it as something he made. Both drivers are OK and promise to get it on the road again to make the Sydney finish. more...

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