SCOTT Pedder and Jon Mortimer must be kicking themselves after sensationally rolling just minutes from the finish line in the final heat of the Allied Air Conditioning Coffs Coast Rally yesterday.
The crash saw rivals Simon and Sue Evans win the day and the overall event.
The Evans team gave it everything to peg back the flying Pedder and the pressure obviously worked.
It was their first victory of the 2010 season.
And after rebuilding a motor late on Saturday night, local rally star Nathan Quinn and David Green finished in second place, a fine reward for an all-night effort by his crew.
Eli Evans should have finished in third place, thrilling the crowds at the Sherwood Road spectator point by arriving at the tricky turn left at well over 100km/h almost backwards before wrestling back control back of the vehicle.
But he rolled the high-tech Honda Civic Type R after the last SOS point, unable to continue less than 5km from the finish.
Ryan and Rebecca Smart, driving their Corolla, eventually rounded out the top three spots of the ARC main game after replacing the gearbox overnight, elevated to the podium by Pedders and Evans’ retirements. The fast roads around Coffs Harbour claimed not only the top runners but a number of classic cars which were the support act for the main ARC competitors.
Will Orders, the star of the Coffs showground the previous night, was the first to fall foul of a slippery left hander on the second morning stage, damaging the car on a stump.
Ian Hill retired his Escort RS 1800 with a broken diff – the part that broke was in the Ford Works team car that was driven in the 1979 Southern Cross rally by Bjorn Waldegaard.
Darren Snooks retired as well and this ensured that Jeff David won the day for the classic field in his Porsche 911, despite a cracked gearbox.
Former local banana farmer Wayne Hoy finished second in his 180B Datsun, a fantastic result for the team. Scott McCloy, from Coffs Harbour, rounded out the top three in his Datsun Stanza.
Peter Roberts and Dave Darby won the NSW Rally Championship round, with Brian Van Eck, in his Lancer, second and Matt Amos, current NSW Rally Champion, third.