Following the sweeping changes announced by the Bosch Australian Rally Championship (ARC) at the season launch this month all eyes will be on the two wheel drive (2WD) competitors at this week’s Quit Forest Rally.
From 2013 the ARC will switch to a 2WD format, which means the prestigious drivers and co-drivers titles will only be available to competitors using 2WD machines and follows the decision this year to make the manufacturers championship open only to 2WD cars.
Leading the 2WD charge at the Quit Forest Rally will be one of the championships most popular teams and the 2010 ARC 2WD champions, Eli Evans and his co-driver Glen Weston.
Evans, whose family has been involved in rallying since the 1970s with brother Simon winning four ARC outright titles, has been competing in a Honda Civic Type R since 2010 and knows his car has the capability and form to continue its impressive showing.
“The Honda Civic Type R is like no other car I have driven before. For the first time I feel like I’m driving a full-on race car and I’m really excited about the upcoming season,” Evans said.
Local rally identity Razvan Vlad will be looking for a strong finish in his first round as a full-time ARC contender and is hoping the home ground advantage will provide him with a great start to the year.
Vlad and his navigator, Daymon Nicoli, will contest the event in a championship winning Ford Fiesta ST which has been imported from New Zealand where it won the 2WD championship in 2009.
“Quit Forest Rally was my first event in Australia and it remains one of my favourite events,” said Vlad.
“We finished second 2WD in Busselton last year in our old Daihatsu Charade GTi. This year I hope that we will do better in the Fiesta, which is a lot easier to drive and more stable at high speed. My focus will be to finish the rally and score points in the championship.”
Nicoli is the youngest navigator to compete at the highest level in Australian rallying, turning 16 last November, just a few weeks after winning the 2WD Western Australia Rally Championship.
The Quit Forest Rally will kick off on Friday 15th April at 6:00pm with the Busselton Toyota Super Special Stage (to be repeated on Saturday night) before heading to the forests of Nannup for the gravel stages on Saturday and Sunday.

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