TOPPING THE TABLE: Driver Rob Balint and navigator Peter Lane during in action during a Traga race.
TOPPING THE TABLE: Driver Rob Balint and navigator Peter Lane during in action during a Traga race. PERFECT PRINTS

Warwick duo sets the pace in national rally

HALFWAY through the season and Warwick rally driving duo Rob Balint and Peter Lane are leading their class in the Australian Targa Championships.

The combination of Balint as driver and Lane as navigator is working well with the pair taking out second in the Early Modern Class in the first race at Adelaide and fourth in the second in the High Point event.

"The points we got were enough to put us in the lead," Lane said.

"We never dreamed we would be leading the championship halfway through the season but everything has just clicked into place."

After two years competing in the Traga Tasmania race, the duo decided to take on the championships and compete in all four events.

"One day we were sitting back having a few beers and talking about how old we were getting and our bucket lists," Lane said.

"We both had racing in the Traga Tasmania on our list so we decided to give it a go.

"And we are hooked.

"I have been involved in motorsport my whole life and this is the best event I've ever competed in."

The magic car helping them into the top spot is a 2001 Mitsubishi Evo, owned by Balint.

It took him nine months of searching to find the right car.

Lane said it was a road car.

"But we converted it into a racing car by ourselves, added roll cages, switches and everything," he said.

"All from our sheds at home."

The next race on the calendar is in February at Wrest Point in Tasmania.

The two-day event features 17 different stages.

Lane said it was a very different style of racing from what he was used to.

"The races are on closed roads," he said.

"Each stage is different and unlike a race track, you are not driving past the same corners each lap."

Spread across Tasmania and Adelaide, Lane said the race courses were always surrounded by amazing scenery and views.

"We don't see much of it while we are racing around at 200km/h but in between stages we do get to see a bit and it is all amazing," he said.

Early Modern top five

1. Balint/ Lane: 122 points

2. Nott/Nott: 106 points

3. Dibble/Plath: 90

4. Possingham/ Scott: 80

4. Cowman/ Cowman: 80


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