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Dean Herridge and Bill Hayes’ trip to the Rally of Argentina to complete the reconnaissance will hopefully be a precursor to contesting the 2006 Production World Rally Championship. With support from Telstra Rally Australia, the West Australian duo completed the recce for Argentina in order to be better prepared for the event in 2006, should a PWRC drive eventuate. “Along with doing the recce and making some contacts in Argentina, it was also about the cultural side of things and being able to cope with competing in a different country,” Herridge said. The pair chose Argentina mainly because the previous two PWRC rounds, Turkey and Cyprus, clashed with ARC rounds. They will also do the recce for the Rally of Great Britain in September, and possibly the Rally of Japan, although Herridge has competed in that event before. “We were close to putting together a deal to do the PWRC last year, so this year we’ve given ourselves a lot more time to organize a deal,” Herridge added. “Things need to be done in a certain order, but we also need to know what Subaru Australia’s rally plans are for the next 12 or 24 months and make sure we don’t compromise that.” Herridge and Hayes spent some time with the Subaru World Rally Team while in Argentina, and competitors like Phil Mills (co-driver to Petter Solberg) told the pair that if they wanted to contest the WRC in 2006, then going to Argentina and other events was the best thing they could possibly do. While he still chases that elusive first victory in the Australian Rally Championship, Herridge admits that on past performances the longer three-day WRC rounds probably suit his style better, and that he believes he could win the PWRC if the right deal was put in place. “If we get the same deal with Subaru Australia for 2006, then two of the six PWRC rounds (NZ and Australia) are covered,” he said, “so we would just need to put a package together to contest another four events. We haven’t done the final figures, but I’d expect that would cost in the vicinity of half a million dollars.” If the deal is put in place, Australia should have a second representative in the World Rally Championship in 2006. Fingers crossed.
  • Originally published in RallySport Magazine, September 2005

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