From 2009 the Australian Rally Championship (ARC) will include a separate 2WD Championship alongside the existing Elite Championship following approval from the Board of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport Ltd (CAMS).

For a number of years the ARC has primarily focused on four-wheel-drive cars. The decision to expand the Championship comes after manufacturers who do not have eligible 4WD rally cars expressed an interest in entering the ARC.

“This will open a Rally Championship up to those competitors and manufacturers who may not have a suitable four-wheel-drive car available to them,” said ARC Chairman Colin Trinder.

“We are excited by the prospect of having more highly strung two-wheel-drive cars competing in the forests.”

The 2WD Championship will be eligible for cars built from 1 January 1986 complying with the new FIA Group R category, Group N, Production Rally Cars and the recently introduced CAMS Showroom Rally Car (SRC) group.

As a subset of the 2WD Championship, a Showroom Series will be provided for 2WD cars which are less modified. SRC competitors will of course be in a position to also compete for the ARC 2WD and Elite Championships.

The Australian Rally Championship’s focus on environmental issues will develop further in 2009, with the introduction of the Eco Rally Challenge. With the world concentrating on emissions from both industry and transport, the Eco Rally Challenge will be for cars emitting less than a combined average of 150 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre which also comply with the new CAMS Showroom Rally Car regulations.

“The ARC provides a perfect opportunity for manufacturers to showcase their environmental technology,” said Trinder.

“Given they will be very similar to their showroom siblings, the Eco Rally Challenge cars will also show that environmentally friendly cars can be fun to drive.”

The Eco Challenge will use the government Green Vehicle Guide as the definitive source for CO2 emissions.

The ARC eligibility structure for 2009 will be as follows:

Manufacturers Championship:
Registered Manufacturers

Elite (Outright) Driver and Co-Driver Championship:
Superproduction (FIA Group N 4WD & S2000), FIA Group N, Group N(P), PRC, FIA Group R, SRC

Two Wheel Drive Driver and Co-Driver Championship:
FIA Group R, FIA Group N, PRC, SRC

Premier League Series:
Superproduction, PRC, 2WD Championship categories - restrictions on tyre numbers, fuel, 4 rounds to count

Showroom Series:
Showroom Rally Cars (SRC)

Eco Rally Challenge:
SRC with CO2 emissions less that 150g/km

PRC Classes:
Production Rally Cars

Classis Raly Cars, Historic Rally Cars 
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