Bendigo duo Adrian Stratford and Kain Manning secured their first Victorian Rally Championship race victory on the weekend.
The pair were in action at the Mitta Mountain Rally in their front-wheel drive Ford Fiesta, finishing the "tight and twisty" stages with an 18 second buffer.
"To come away with the win was out of this world as we certainly didn't expect it," Stratford said.
"This has proven our car is as good as what we hoped and it's only going to get better."
The victory came with plenty of challenges, including a spin on stage one of seven which slowed the pair down.
"It wasn't Ideal," Stratford said.
"We dropped around 45 seconds and from then on we thought a win wasn't possible from that far back.
"The conditions were dry and dusty across tight and twisty technical stages, but luckily the temperature wasn't as hot as it had been in the past."
After a few solid heats aboard their 1.6 litre turbo Fiesta the pair were back in contention.
"With a bit of luck and some good speed we got the win," Stratford said.
On the final stage they were able to gain an 18-second advantage finishing with a final time of 1:48:21.
The pair are now working towards a start in the season-opener of the Australian Rally Championship at Canberra starting April 9.
Th event was initially scheduled for this weekend but was changed due to the extreme weather across the country.
The focus ahead of the race in the capital is continuing to fine-tune their car.
"After Mitta the front and rear ends are out, suffering from worn out bits and pieces that need to be fixed before Canberra," Stratford said.
"Just as much work is going into the car between the last event and Canberra as what we did during the whole of last year.
"Every time we take it out it's getting better but there's still more speed and reliability to come."
The season-opening race at Canberra will be the biggest competition the duo have competed at to date, but they are ready for the challenge.
"We're going for the Australian two-wheel drive championship and junior championship," Stratford, 25, said.
"We've got some pretty serious competition to contend with but it's good to get out there and see how we fare against some really good guys."
Stratford thanked the endless support from the pair's sponsors who have helped them on their journey.
"Without their help we simply wouldn't have made it to Mitta," he said.
"Thanks to our major sponsors Bendigo Specialist Brake and Clutch, Exedy Australia, Zestino Tyres Australia in addition to support from Warieoo Farms, Jam Automotive, Eye For Detail Painting and Decorating, Summit Construction, Rusden Europro Automotive, Stow High, Barth Lane Coffee Roasters and Belly's Engineering."
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