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Australia - 17-19 Nov 17

Posted: November 17, 2017 5:17 PM - 2384 Hits

Round 13 - 2017 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Australia 2017) Also available at: rally-base results
National Rally / Classics - Live Results (National Rally Australia 2017)
Radio: Rally Radio on WRC.COM
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website: Rally Australia

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times (Coffs, Australia is 11 Hours Ahead)
Shakedown Wed - 21:00
SS1 Thu - 21:13
SS9 Fri - 20:18
SS17 Sat - 20:38
See full Timetable below:

Timetable (Irish Time)

Posted: November 15, 2017 9:06 AM

M-Sport - THE CHAMPIONS CHASE SUCCESS ON SEASON FINALE

Posted: November 13, 2017 7:04 AM

M-Sport have much to celebrate as the FIA World Rally Championship embarks on the season finale at next week’s Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

After claiming the Triple Crown on home soil at last month’s Wales Rally GB, the team travel to the final event of the year having already secured the 2017 FIA World Rally Championships for Drivers, Co-drivers and Manufacturers; and have seen all three of their crews claim victory with the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC.

Despite these achievements, there remains much to play for and the team have had little time to celebrate – intent on finishing the year on a high by challenging for another top-three result.

Should the team secure another podium in Australia, the Fiesta will have picked up silverware on every event this season and become the only manufacturer in history to have secured that feat three times – the previous clean-sweeps coming in 2009 and 2012.

RALLY AUSTRALIA WILD BY NATURE

Nestled on the Gold Coast between Brisbane and Sydney, the coastal town of Coffs Harbour will host the FIA World Rally Championship’s season finale.

Dusty forest tracks are the order of the rally as shire roads are combined with some of the region’s most picturesque rainforest and bush landscapes. The stages themselves offer a variety of character with some tight and twisty, and others fast and flowing.

When dry, the loose terrain presents some of the worst road cleaning of the year and can become treacherously slippery when wet. Many stages are also lined by trees mere millimetres from the road. This event is certainly no holiday, and the crews must give the stages the focus and respect they demand.

Friday’s leg features three previously unused stages before returning to more familiar territory on Saturday and Sunday. The route consists of 318.33 competitive kilometres, and the winning crew will have mastered everything that the Australian wilderness has to offer.

MALCOLM WILSON TEAM PRINCIPAL

Fresh from a momentous achievement on home soil, Team Principal Malcolm Wilson travels to Rally Australia a happy man. But the Cumbrian remains focused on finishing the team’s hugely successful season on a high.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“What we achieved on home soil last month was truly amazing. We did open a few bottles of champagne, but the good stuff will have to wait until after Rally Australia.

“The season is not over yet. We might have secured all three championships, but we want to end what has been an immensely successful year on another high and secure another podium to complete our clean sweep.

“We’ve had all three drivers secure at least one victory this year, and a podium on every event. The best way to end the season would be to complete the set with another top-three on the Coffs Coast. It won’t be easy, but that has to be our goal.

“The competition will be extremely strong, and everyone will want to end the year with a strong result. But we won’t let standards slip, and aim to deliver another strong result.”

OGIER AND INGRASSIA
THE CHAMPIONS

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia head to Rally Australia having already been crowned the 2017 FIA World Rally Champions. Securing their fifth successive title at Wales Rally GB, the French pairing now head to the Australian fixture intent on enjoying all that the Coffs Coast has to offer.

Rally Australia has long been a happy hunting ground for Ogier and Ingrassia. Having claimed three victories at the Australasian event, they’ll be determined to deliver another strong result this year – rounding off a successful season on another high.

Previous starts: 6
Best result: 1st (2013, 2014 and 2015)

Sébastien Ogier said:
“Heading to the final round of the season with a fifth championship already secured is fantastic, and exactly what we were aiming for in Wales. It lifts some of the pressure and means that we can go to Rally Australia fully focused on enjoying the great stages that they have there.

“I say some of the pressure as we still want to secure a good result. So far, the team has had a podium on every event and we want to see that continue next week. If it’s dry, our road position won’t make it easy, but we will try our best as always.

“It’s quite an intimate event, but the locals really get behind the rally and we always receive a very warm welcome. If we could end the season with another strong result, it really would be the perfect ending to an incredible year.”

TÄNAK AND JÄRVEOJA
THIRD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja will be aiming for a strong result at next week’s Rally Australia. Having secured two victories this year, the Estonians are also the team’s highest placed crew when it comes to stage wins and will be determined to add to their tally at the season finale.

Tänak might only have three previous outings at the Australasian event, and could be hampered by his early running order, but should not be discounted for a strong result as he chases second place in the championship.

Previous starts: 3
Best result: 6th (2015)

Ott Tänak said:
“It’s a nice feeling heading to Rally Australia as part of a championship winning team, but the hard work isn’t over yet. We’ve still got a chance of finishing second in the championship and we’ll be giving our all to end our time with the team on a high.

“It won’t be easy – Rally Australia never is – and it’s completely different to anything else we experience. Everything is different – even the shadows in the forest – and we’ll have to be at the very top of our game if we want to deliver a strong result.

“It all starts with the recce and we’ll have to be fully focused from the word go – driving with complete trust in the notes and keeping the foot to the floor to combat what would be some fairly heavy road sweeping if it stays dry.”

EVANS AND BARRITT
FIFTH IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Fresh from their maiden victory at last month’s Wales Rally GB, Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt were straight back to work making preparations for the season finale at Rally Australia.

With only two previous starts at the Australasian event, the Welshmen will have his work cut out as he gets to grips with the unfamiliar stages but will be determined to deliver his best and gain the vital knowledge and experience that could see him excel at the event in years to come.

Previous starts: 2
Best result: 8th (2014)

Elfyn Evans said:
“Securing the win on home soil gave us an amazing feeling, but there wasn’t too much time to celebrate with the next event just around the corner. After a little party, it was straight into our preparations for Australia.

“I’ve always enjoyed this event, but it’s not been particularly kind to us in the past. It’s not the easiest of events and visibility can often be a big challenge. We can get some hanging dust and when the sun is low it can create a strobe effect through the trees which makes it difficult to read the road. It’s certainly an event where you need complete confidence in your notes.

“We missed this rally last year and there are quite a lot of new stages to get to grips with. We’ll also have to wait and see how the conditions suit our package. At the moment the forecasts look a bit uncertain, so that could be interesting. But whatever happens, I always enjoy coming to Australia and we’ll be giving it our all as always.”

Hyundai Motorsport upbeat and ready to finish 2017 season on a high

Posted: November 13, 2017 7:02 AM

Hyundai Motorsport heads to the season finale of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Rally Australia, in positive spirits as the team aims to conclude its fourth year of participation in the sport on a high.

With the 2017 Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championship titles wrapped up by Sebastien Ogier and M-Sport in Wales Rally GB, Hyundai Motorsport can attack the Australian stages with full focus on the event in hand and with an eye firmly on next season.

A three-car line-up will see Hayden Paddon compete in front of travelling Kiwi and passionate Australian fans, Thierry Neuville aiming to secure second place in the drivers’ table, and Andreas Mikkelsen defending his victory from twelve months ago.

The 13th and final round of the 2017 season will see crews negotiate tough gravel stages in dusty conditions that starkly contrast with the slippery terrain faced in Wales.

Testing is prohibited outside of Europe, so Hyundai Motorsport will be putting a season’s worth of improvement from its Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC into the Australian round of the Championship.

End of chapter four

Having scored three victories in 2017, a total of ten individual podiums, 77 stage wins and 54 Power Stage points, there have been plenty of strong performances for Hyundai Motorsport in its fourth WRC season. Despite missing out on the Manufacturers’ title, the team has had another year of solid progress, which it aims to demonstrate in Australia.

Featuring a revised opening day, which mixes known routes with three new stages in the forest, Rally Australia will be far from a walk in the park. Hyundai Motorsport would like to build on its third place podium finish at the event in 2016 with a multiple charge next weekend, and to position itself in contention for overall victory.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said:
“We approach Rally Australia with every hope and intention that we can deliver a strong all-round team performance. We have all the ingredients to be competitive on the Australian gravel and we will give everything we can to achieve that. We have to accept our second place in the Championship behind M-Sport, but at the same time we can reflect on 2017 as being one of progress and improvement for our team. If we can put all the pieces together in Australia, I hope we can not only be in the hunt for victory but also fight for the podium with multiple cars. There are some new stages to tackle this year, in addition to lots of familiar stages. We finished third in 2016 with Thierry and Nicolas, but our sights are set even higher this year. Our rivals will be out to complete the year in the same way, so we need to be at the very top of our game.”

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Alongside his co-driver Seb Marshall, Paddon will benefit from huge support in Australia, with plenty of fans travelling from New Zealand for the rally. A tough season for the Kiwi has delivered a best finish of second in Poland, a result he’d like to emulate ‘down under’.

Paddon said: “It is always nice to be heading back to our side of the world. It isn’t quite a home event but it is as close as we can get. The support we receive from the fans is unreal and we want to give them a good show – and something to shout about. We are not competing on the public roads as much as previous seasons, with a lot more stages in the forest. That will make the event slightly different but we are confident in our abilities. Finishing the rally in Wales in the top-eight wasn’t necessarily the result we wanted, but it gave us good mileage in the car, which we hope will translate positively to Australia.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul moved back up to second in the Drivers’ Championship with a fine drive to second overall in Wales Rally GB. Taking five stage wins, including the Power Stage, the Belgians need an equally strong result in Australia to secure their runners-up slot ahead of Ott Tanak.

Neuville said: “Australia is an enjoyable rally, an event where I have finished on the podium a couple of times in the past. It will certainly be nice to finish the season with a great atmosphere and some Australian summer sunshine, My aim for this final rally is clear: to secure our second place in the Championship. We know we have the technical package to compete at the front, so with the addition of a bit of luck I am hopeful we can do what we need to do.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger head to the Coffs Harbour based event as defending winners, having impressed in Australia twelve months ago. The Norwegian duo narrowly missed out on a podium in Wales last time out, but will be aiming to rectify that in the season finale, their third rally with Hyundai Motorsport.

Mikkelsen said: “Australia is probably my favourite rally of the season, and I have great experiences from the event previously. Winning in 2016 was a great memory and I hope we can be in the mix again with Hyundai Motorsport. It would be an amazing way to end the season, and to prepare for a full-season campaign in 2018. It is always a challenging event, so nothing can be taken for granted. We do have an advantageous starting position, though, which we hope to make the most of. I am looking forward to it!”

Rally Australia at a glance

The 21-stage Rally Australia event, round 13 of the year, covers a total stage distance of 318.33km.

Based at Coffs Harbour, the rally gets underway on Friday morning with some new stages into the Australian forest. Concluding with two runs through the familiar Destination NSW super special, it acts as a suitably demanding prelude to the longest day of the event.

Covering 140km on Saturday, crews will tackle the monster Nambucca test, which at 48.89km is the third longest stage of the season after El Chocolate in Mexico (54.90km) and Antisanti-Poggio di Nazza in Corsica (53.78km).

The final day of action for the 2017 WRC takes place on Sunday with well-known Australian stages, Bucca and Wedding Bells.

Australia the final test for the Yaris WRC in its development season

Posted: November 13, 2017 7:01 AM

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team will conclude its debut season in the FIA World Rally Championship season at Rally Australia on November 16-19. At the end of a campaign where learning and car development has been the main priority, the Yaris WRC will be put through its paces competitively for one last time this year by Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi.

Rally Australia is held in New South Wales on varied gravel roads, with a combination of tight and twisty forest tracks and fast and flowing sections across open countryside. Trees line the side of the roads in many places, ready to catch out the unwary, while hanging dust can also be an added challenge.

The rally is based in the coastal city of Coffs Harbour, and begins just to the north on Friday morning with three new-look stages that are then repeated in the afternoon. Friday and Saturday end with two passes of a sea-front super special stage in Coffs Harbour. The rest of Saturday’s action takes place to the south and includes the 49-kilometre Nambucca stage, which is separated in two for the afternoon pass. There are five stages on Sunday, with the second pass of Wedding Bells as the Power Stage.

Quotes:

Kaj Lindström (Sporting Director)
“I’m very pleased that Tommi asked me to take on the role of Sporting Director. It’s a big challenge for me and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been around rallying for a long time as a co-driver, including this year with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, so I know what happens during a rally weekend. But there are also a few different things that I don't know about yet: a lot happens before the event and during the rally, while I used to be on the stages as a co-driver. So there are things that will be new for me, and I’m going to Rally Australia as a bit of a rookie in the job! The team’s preparation for the event has been good and I believe we can do well there. Jari-Matti has done it many times before, and Esapekka did well there in WRC2 last year. The weather forecast shows that there might be some thunderstorms during the rally, which could make things interesting!”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“I’m really looking forward to Rally Australia. It’s a nice event to finish the year, usually in warm conditions and sunshine. The stages are fast and flowing and it’s a rally that I have pretty much always enjoyed. This year there will be some new sections and parts that have not been used for a long time. On Rally GB we struggled slightly but I think the Yaris WRC should be well-suited to the stages in Australia. Personally I want to go out there and really push for the podium, and if we could challenge for the victory that would be even better.”

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 11)
“One of the main characteristics of Rally Australia is the loose gravel on top of the surface, so the first cars have to do a lot of road sweeping. Further down the order it should be better, but it is really important to keep the car on the racing line. Another challenge will be tyre management, as the second pass of the stages can be quite hard for the tyres, and if the weather is warm we will need to look after them. We weren’t so successful in Britain, but it should be better for us in Australia hopefully. We certainly want to have a good season finale.”

Citroen Racing - CURTAIN FALLS ON 2017 SEASON DOWN UNDER

Posted: November 13, 2017 6:57 AM

For the thirteenth and final round of the 2017 World Rally Championship, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT will be aiming to finish the season on another positive note. In the Australian rainforest, the C3 WRCs will be driven by Stéphane Lefebvre/Gabin Moreau (no.7), Craig Breen/Scott Martin (no.8) and Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (no.9).

A RALLY TURNED ON ITS HEAD

Mainly contested in Europe, the FIA World Rally Championship nonetheless travels overseas on three occasions. Following trips earlier in the year to Mexico and Argentina, the third exotic destination takes the teams to the east coast of Australia. Roughly midway between Sydney and Brisbane, the small coastal town of Coffs Harbour has hosted the event since 2011.

17,000km from Versailles, this gravel rally has its own specific characteristics, with a mix of wide, shire roads through the fields and tight, twisty tracks in the rainforest. The hard ground is often covered with tiny round stones, which can be especially slippery for the drivers who are first the road! Once it is swept clear, the hard ground provides a high level of grip... unless it decides to rain.

For the 2017 rally, the organisers have devised a more compact course, which predominantly features roads that are well known to regulars at the event. The decisive stage is expected to be the Nambucca speed test, almost 50km long and contested early on Saturday morning.

Families attending the rally will be able to enjoy a close-up view of the action, since the first and second legs conclude with two passes on a super special stage, held right next to the service park. The Raceway super special stage (Saturday morning) and the Wedding Bells Power Stage (Sunday) are equally very popular with the Australian fans.

THE CHALLENGE: FINISH THE SEASON ON ANOTHER POSITIVE NOTE

As the world titles were wrapped up at Wales Rally GB, all the competitors in Australia will have one thing in mind: sign off in style and finish the season on a positive note. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT and its three crews are no exception to this rule!

With a favourable starting position for the opening leg, the C3 WRC drivers may be able to partially compensate for their lack of knowledge of the roads, due to the fact that Kris Meeke, Stéphane Lefebvre and Craig Breen all missed the 2016 rally.

With three appearances between 2013 and 2015, Kris Meeke still has solid experience of the event. His natural talent helped him to secure fourth place in 2014 and a podium finish the following year. Winner of two rallies this season – in Mexico and in Spain – the Briton will be expecting to be able to fight at the front in Australia.

Meanwhile, Stéphane Lefebvre’s sole appearance in Australia was at the 2015 rally. Stéphane stepped in at the last minute to replace Mads Østberg, who was injured during an accident in recce. For his first rally on gravel in a WRC, the young Frenchman set some decent times, especially on the first leg.

For Craig Breen, this will be his very first appearance in the southern hemisphere! Whilst he knows Australia well, the Irishman will be competing at this rally for the first time. However, he has already proven his ability to adapt quickly to new surroundings on several occasions this season!

YVES MATTON, CITROËN RACING TEAM PRINCIPAL
"We are aiming to confirm the performance level of the C3 WRC on gravel at this, the final round of the season. The Rally Australia stages are run on specific roads, on which it is forbidden to hold any testing. With that in mind, the responsiveness and experience of the technical team will be vital in defining the best set-up between recce and the start of the race. Considering the times set by Kris on gravel in Spain and the work done over the last few months to widen the operating window of the car, I think we have the means to aim for a good result. Stéphane and Craig will also need to make the most of this final round to show their speed and confirm the progress they have made this season."

KRIS MEEKE
"I have some very good memories of my three appearances in Australia. In 2015, I had led the rally for two days before losing out to the VWs, but third place was nonetheless a very good result. This year, a few of the stages that appeared last year will be new to me, but that shouldn't be a big problem because I feel comfortable on these roads. There are some characteristics that you just don't get anywhere else. For example, the trees are so tall in the jungle that the light flashes through the branches, creating a 'strobe' effect. The changes in light can make it very difficult to read the road. I'm looking forward to contesting the Nambucca speed test again – it's one of the finest stages of the season in my opinion. Considering our performance level at the last two gravel rallies, I think we'll be there or thereabouts."

Number of appearances at the event: 3
Best result: 3rd (2015)

CRAIG BREEN
"I often say Australia is my second home! My sister lives in Perth and there is a big Irish community in the country, so I have a lot of friends and supporters here. I can’t wait to start my second rally outside of Europe. I know it won't be easy, because I'll have to learn the whole course, which is quite a disadvantage at an event that doesn't change much from year to year. But the stages look magnificent and the performance of the C3 WRC on the last few rallies fills me with optimism. I hope we can finish 2017 in a positive manner."

Number of appearances at the event: 0

STÉPHANE LEFEBVRE
"It's easier to forget it, but this is the longest journey of the year and we have to think ahead and prepare for the time difference. In 2015, I came here originally just to do recce. Then Mads Østberg had an accident and the team asked me to step in to replace him at the last minute. We didn't have our racing equipment and we had to come up with improvised solutions for all that within a few hours. Despite the lack of preparation, I set some decent times overall, whilst also experiencing some difficulties in dealing with the stages in the rainforest, such as Nambucca. Everyone would like to finish the season on a high. As far as I'm concerned, I'll be aiming to build on my level in Spain, when I was setting times within 2/10ths per kilometre of the leading drivers."

Number of appearances at the event: 1
Best result: 13th (2015)

Drivers watch for rain to turn World Rally result at Australian finale

Posted: November 13, 2017 6:55 AM

The fastest rally drivers in the world are keeping an eye on the weather as they arrive on the Coffs Coast to wrap up the 20176 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at Kennards Hire Rally Australia later this week.

Despite the Pacific coast region’s reputation for dry, warm weather, rain would suit drivers such as Thierry Neuville of Belgium, who is hoping to clinch second place in the series aboard his factory-run Hyundai.

WRC rules require drivers ahead in the standings to start early in the order on the opening day, Friday. In dry conditions, they’re disadvantaged by having to sweep away loose gravel with their cars, but the position is reversed when wet roads slow following cars.

“It’s going to be a tough contest. Like every single round this year was pretty demanding, pretty, tough; it’s going to be the same here,” Neuville said.

“I hope it's going to be a little bit wet on the weekend, which should give us a bit more opportunity to be on the podium, bring back maximum points for the team and a win as well.

“If it stays dry, there will be some road-cleaning conditions – it might be tough for us being second on the road.”

Neuville named Citroën rival Kris Meeke and 2016 Australia winner Andreas Mikkelsen among those who would have an advantage by starting further down the order.

Meeke said: “If it’s a completely dry event, for sure, like most events in the WRC it’s about ultimate speed. If it’s wet, everyone knows that with the red dirt here if it gets wet and muddy it’s like driving on ice. It can be hellishly tricky.

“That will turn the event on its head. It becomes more of a marathon to get through – it’s so easy to make a mistake.

“Let’s see what Mother Nature has to bring, but hopefully whatever the conditions are we’re in a position to fight for a win.”

Meeke said he was looking forward to tackling the 50-kilometre Nambucca stage on Saturday, which he described as one of the best stages in the WRC.

“It’s got a particular flow to it, a nice rhythm, some really technical sections in the forest and when you can see the wide open spaces it’s beautiful to drive. Fifty kilometres of Nambucca is pretty special.”

While most of the top drivers landed in Coffs Harbour over the weekend, Neuville, Meeke, Toyota’s Esapekka Lappi and Elfyn Evans from M-Sport stopped in Sydney yesterday to sample the sparkling sights of the harbor city and have some fun.

Tutored by Australian pace bowler Billy Stanlake and former England batsman Sam Robson, they enthusiastically took up bat and ball for some traditional "beach" cricket on a grassy pitch beside the historic Fleet Steps. They then showed the cricketers how to handle radio-controlled rally cars, frequently spinning, crashing and rolling the speedy minis.

Serious preparations start tomorrow when all crews undertake two days of route reconnaissance before an unofficial shakedown session on Thursday morning.

Kennards Hire Rally Australia kicks off with a free Rally Show and Ceremonial Start in the main street of Coffs Harbour on Thursday afternoon. Competition starts on Friday morning and continues over 318 kms and 21 stages to the finish on Sunday afternoon in the Wedding Bells State Forest, just north of the city.

Hyundai Motorsport confirms line-up for Rally Australia season finale

Posted: November 2, 2017 12:10 PM

Hyundai Motorsport has confirmed a three-car line-up for the final round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Rally Australia.

The team will contest the event with Belgians Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul, Norwegians Andreas Mikkelsen and Anders Jæger, as well as the Anglo-Kiwi crew of Hayden Paddon and co-driver Seb Marshall.

As the 2017 season draws to a conclusion at the popular gravel event, Hyundai Motorsport will be aiming to finish its fourth year in the WRC with a competitive team result.

The logistics of the rally prevents the team from running the same four-car entry that it will have at Wales Rally GB. The trio of crews has been determined based on what the team believes will deliver the best chance of success in Australia.

Neuville finished on the podium in last year’s event, having registered a previous best finish of second place in 2013. Mikkelsen has built up a strong track record at the rally in recent years, memorably winning the 2016 season finale. Paddon, meanwhile, has scored three consecutive top-six finishes in Rally Australia for Hyundai Motorsport, an event in which the Kiwi receives plenty of support from local fans and supporters travelling from New Zealand.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said:
“The complexity of logistics for Rally Australia meant that we were not able to run a four-car entry, although that would have been the ideal solution. We had to make the decision based on which combination of crews we felt would give us the strongest all-round chance on the Australian gravel. Thierry scored our first Australian podium last year, an event that was won by Andreas and Hayden has made continuous improvements year-on-year in this rally. We want to finish the season in the most competitive way possible, to lay ourselves strong foundations for next year – that’s our aim.”

Entry List (Updated/FIA Approved)

Posted: October 20, 2017 10:14 AM

ARC2 crews on world stage in Rally Australia showdown

Posted: September 26, 2017 9:25 AM

Six CAMS Australian Rally Championship (ARC) crews have been handed free entry to a winner-takes-all final on the world stage at Kennards Hire Rally Australia in November.

The finalists in the second-tier ARC2 category of the national series were confirmed after the penultimate round at Lightforce Rally SA.

Three ARC2 four-wheel drive finalists and three two-wheel drive finalists will receive free entry and a set of MRF tyres to do battle at Kennards Hire Rally Australia on 16-19 November. The highest-placed crews in each class will drive away with the 2017 CAMS ARC2 titles.

Free entry for top ARC2 teams is one of several opportunities Rally Australia organisers have provided to encourage national competitors in the world event.

In the ARC2 four-wheel-drive class at Lightforce Rally SA last weekend, Contel Mobile Communications’ Craig Brooks finished top of the table and claimed his first ARC podium. McM Rallysport’s Stephen Mee topped the two-wheel drive class.

Craig Brooks said he was thrilled to grab a spot in the ARC2 final.

“The ARC2 final is what we have been aiming at all season so, we are really excited to go to Coffs Harbour and bash it out with the best second-tier guys in the country,” he said.

Stephen Mee said the introduction of ARC2 had helped his team start on the path towards national competition.

“We’ve always wanted to do ARC and with ARC2 coming along it’s given us a stepping stone to see what goes on at national level and to help us plan for what we might want to do in the future and it’s been really fun,” Mee said.

Kennards Hire Rally Australia Clerk of Course Wayne Kenny welcomed the six ARC2 competitors to the event entry list.

“Rally Australia is the one event on which a domestic crew, providing they are appropriately licensed and have a car that meets the relevant regulations, can contest a World Championship event alongside the fastest rally drivers on the planet,” Kenny said.

“That’s a priceless motorsport opportunity.

“Rally Australia welcomes the six successful ARC2 crews and wishes them luck on 16-19 November. We also encourage all other eligible crews to step up and have a crack.”

Crews who missed out on the six ARC2 free entries will have other incentives to enter Rally Australia.

The new Kennards Hire Cup offers a total of $5000 prize money to entrants in Rally Australia’s ARC section who have not registered for championship points and have not won or placed in an ARC event this season.

And the Coffs Coast event also will host the season finales of the New South Wales and Queensland State Rally Championships.

Mentor Tyres Chief Executive Officer and importer of MRF Tyres for Australia Vivek Ponnusamy said he was pleased to be a part of the CAMS ARC2 initiative.

“ARC2 is the best platform for young drivers and state competitors with limited budget to step up. This is in line with MRF’s mission of helping and supporting club and State-level competitors to raise up to national and international level,” he said.

ARC2 was introduced in 2017, offering a pathway for State-level competitors to step up to national level competition. ARC2 competitors nominate two ARC events, including their home round, where they are eligible to score points.

Rally Guide / Details / Website

Posted: July 7, 2017 3:53 AM






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