Guesty’s Weekend: A Tassie Tragedy

Michael Guest and the Pirtek LWR Subaru have endured a forgettable weekend at the 5th round of the Australian Rally Championship, the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge.

With the event promoted by LWR team owner Les Walkden, the team was keen to have a good showing at their ‘home’ event. But mechanical problems plagued them all weekend, starting with Friday’s shakedown which Guest and co-driver David Green were forced to miss after a gearbox problem was discovered on the Pirtek Subaru.

“The boys did a fantastic job getting a new gearbox fitted and getting us to the start line”, Michael commented before the start of Saturdays stages. “We’ve had a bit of bad luck across this season, so we’re hoping that is all behind us now.”

But his optimism was a little misplaced. Having set the third quickest time on the opening stage, the pair set out on the 17km Hellyer Gorge stage, only to lose first and fifth gears during the stage. They did make it back to service park, but problems with a second replacement gearbox forced them to have an early finish and miss the afternoon stages.

“We lost first and second gear in the first Hellyer Gorge stage this morning, but surprisingly we were still fourth quickest. When the new gearbox was put in the rear diff ratio was then wrong, so that created more work for the service, and as a result we missed a few stages.”

Back out for Sunday’s six stages, the differential problems continued, Guest battling a centre differential problem that provoked handling problems. The last thing required on the tricky Tasmanian roads!

“We had a centre differential problem all day, which was making the car understeer badly,” Micheal offered at the end of the event. “There are four different settings in the centre diff and it was switching between them for no reason. It made the car very difficult to drive, and very dangerous if it switched under braking or in the middle of a corner.”

But determined to complete the event for the LWR team, Michael and David crossed the finish line in 6th for Leg 2, although a long way off the pace of eventual winner Neal Bates.

“The team checked everything over at service, but the problem persisted and, as a result, we’ve had a really frustrating day. It’s fair to say that luck certainly hasn’t gone our way.”

Michael, David, and the rest of the lWR team will be looking to put this result behind them when the ARC visits the NSW north coast for final round in mid-November.

Photos courtesy of and

Comments are closed.

Recent Comments