Three-time Australian rally champion, Cody Crocker, holds down second place at the end of the penultimate day of the Mt Buller Sprint, with the final three stages to be completed tomorrow.
Crocker, driving the Les Walkden Rallying prepared Subaru Impreza WRX STI, was second fastest on the day's opening stage (SS3), third quickest on SS4 and fourth on SS5, conceding time on the final two stages to his major rival, Warwick Rooklyn, driving the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9. The result is a tight tussle for podium positions going into the last day.
Out in the lead, winning all three stages today, was Jason White in his Lamborghini Gallard. He is 18.03 seconds ahead of Crocker, with Rooklyn just 0.36 seconds further back in third place.
Mt Buller experienced another fine mild day, making conditions ideal for all 80 cars remaining in the event.
Crocker's times were all under the nine-minute mark and demonstrated great consistency, with less than 1.3 seconds between his fastest and slowest time up the 16 kilometre sprint.
The man who has built his reputation racing on gravel, was happy with his second day on tarmac.
"We've had another really good day - really enjoyed it," Crocker said.
"This tarmac stuff is just as challenging as the dirt. The biggest thing I've found is getting the entry speeds into the hairpins right."
"I'm happy with our notes and the car is getting heaps of grip, so we're doing well."
"I'm not going to change anything for tomorrow. I'll stick with the same approach as today. We'll keep our head, not push any harder, and keep the risks to a minimum."
"Jason (White) is really hard to catch without him making a mistake, but with a bit of luck we can stay ahead of Warwick (Rooklyn) and keep onto second."
The final day of the Mt Buller Spring sees Crocker and co-driver, Ben Atkinson, tackle stages six, seven and eight up from the base of the mountain to the village itself.
Mt Buller Sprint - end day two (5 of 8 stages completed)
1 White/White, Lamborghini Gallardo, 44:34.47
2 Crocker/Atkinson, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 44:52.50, +18.03 secs
3 Rooklyn/Long, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, 44:52.86 +18.39 secs
4 Close/Close, Porsche Turbo, 45:32.01
5 Vandersee/Taylor, Skelta G-Force, 45;38.75
6 Shears/Shears, Mitsubishi Lancer, 46:18.64
7 Broadbent/Goedheer, Porsche Carrera RS, 46:50.30
8 Keyte/Keyte, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, 46:50.71
9 Evans/Murphy, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, 46:52.90
10 Pedder/Weston, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, 46:53.16