The Holmwood & Cowra Wreckers Cowra Shire Rally is the 2nd round of the 2010 Pipe King Southern Cross Rally Series and will take place on Saturday 15th May in the western NSW town of Cowra.

The event is being run for the first time and will consist of 170Km’s of competitive driving over 10 Stages. Using only Shire Roads, it will be the only rally of it’s kind in New South Wales at the present time and will surely be an enjoyable event for all of the 52 crews competing.

The range of cars entered vary from the Rear wheel drive Classic’s such as Bill Brown in a Datsun 1600 & Anthony Campbell in a V8 Holden Commodore, the Turbo 4WD and Rear Wheel Drive Modern category cars such as Michael Long in a Subaru Legacy and Mark Callinan in a BMW, right down the mighty little Front Wheel Drives such as Dave Roberts in the Hyundai Excel. All of the cars, big and small, should be on the rev limiter at some point in the event, which for some competitors may be a new experience.

The Classic category will be headed by defending Champion, Bill Brown in his immaculately prepared Datsun 1600 and co-driven by his son Mitch in the absence of his regular co-driver Trent Murphy. It will be a baptism of fire for young Mitch but a challenge he is ready to take.

Young Newcastle driver Mark Bramble co-driven by his cousin Michael Bannon in a Mitsubishi Galant will be looking to continue their strong run from last season in which they finished 2nd to Brown in the Championship. After missing the first round due to making some upgrades to their vehicle in the off season with Bramble & Bannon are looking forward to getting out there and giving it a red hot go.

Another dark horse and outright contender for the Classic’s in Cowra will be the very fast Kari Dirickx with regular co-driver Tim Batten sitting alongside in their Datsun 1600. Dirickx got the upper hand over Brown in their last encounter at an AMSAG event, last years Oberon Rally, and surely Kari will be using that as an extra bit a mental psyche out to Brown and all other challengers.

Not to be discounted in the Classic category are a number of competitors looking to challenge the front runners, David Hills & Paul Bennett and series sponsor, Pipe King’s John Hills with Mike Tuckey along side in the amazing sounding Ford Escort BDA’s which are sure to be a crowd favourite with their 13,000 RPM rev limit, it will be pure bliss to the ears of the spectators out watching.

Mick Lipping and Andrew Travis with Gavin Porter sitting by his side in their Datsun 1600’s and John Reilly & John Bermingham in the giant killing Datsun Sunny should be pushing the hard charge. With the smooth and fast Shire Roads suiting vehicles with a larger engine capacity, the Class E vehicles of Jim Middleton & Kate Murphy in a V6 Commodore, 2009 Rookie Series winner Anthony Campbell & his father Tony in the thumping V8 Commodore and Tony Jordan with Brad Robinson sitting alongside in the big Triumph Stag should help to make finishing in the top ten in the Classic’s a hard task to achieve.

A special mention should also be made about the commitment of one crew in particular, The Kayess brothers David & Peter will be travelling down all the way from their home in Cairns in Far North Queensland to have a run in their Superbly built Datsun 1600. Now that is commitment!

The Modern Category will once again be an interesting battle between the modern 2wd and 4wd vehicles, with Sydney Brothers Michael & Chris Long in their Subaru Legacy starting as favourites after winning the first round of the year, the young pairing have been showing their potential in the ever improving Subaru standing on top if the podium against more experienced rivals.

They will be challenged this time around by 2009 CAMS NSW State Champion Steve Forsberg with Craig Whyburn sitting beside him in a Mitsubishi Evo 6, The experienced pairing will head a trio of Mitsubishi Evo’s trying to topple the only Subaru in the field.  Scott Kuhner & Jon Parker in and Evo 5 as well as Carl Stewart & Zoe Butler in an Evo 1.

Also in the mix of Mitsubishi’s will be Drew McPhee & Andrew Crowley in a Mitsubishi VR4, after a strong finish in the first round, the Sydney pairing will be looking to continue on the good form and will be hoping to push for another good result.

Mark Callinan in the beautiful sounding BMW will take the lead of the Modern Category’s Rear Wheel Drive brigade, with the car sure to be at full revs for most of the event, it will definitely be one of the cars to keep an ear out for as you should hear it coming from a mile away.

Fighting it out with Callinan in the Rear Wheel Drive Vs. 4 Wheel Drive battle will be Jayke Skeffington & Mark Patroni, after upgrading their Datsun 1600 to a SR20 Turbocharged power plant, giving them what is sure to be an advantage on the Shire Roads, also making a change from the Classic to Modern category will be Jason Flint & Chris Dowsett moving from their Datsun 120Y to a Nissan Silvia.

And taking up the Open Category’s Front Wheel Drive charge will be Nowra’s Dave Roberts & Paul Mallos in a Hyundai Excel and Mark & Jason Gallagher in a Suzuki Baleno.

The Holmwood & Cowra Wreckers Cowra Shire Rally will also be Round 2 of the Race Brakes Sydney Rookie Series. The series is again well supported with 8 entries in total, At the head of the rookies will be Nikolaos Kouriefs & Darren Brennan in a Datsun 1600, after a roll in the first round Kouriefs will be looking to make amends and try to top the rookies by the end of the event. Trying to take that win away from him will be Tom Clarke & Lance Dye and Darren & Scott McGuire both in Datsun 1600’s, also in the mix should be Tim Joass in a Holden Gemini.

Spectator viewing point information is available by contacting Sallie Thomson at the Cowra Visitor Information Centre.

Competitors interested in upcoming AMSAG events as part of the 2010 Pipe King Southern Cross Rally Series can also find information about the club at the website

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