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The Bosch Australian Rally Championship has announced the finalists for this year's Rallyschool Australian Junior Challenge and the line up of ten young drivers highlights the strong potential for the future of Australian rallying.
Seven of the ten finalists are competing in two wheel drive rally cars with three competitors in four wheel drive turbo machines contesting the final of the Challenge at Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally between October 12 and 14.
The move towards two wheel drive machines has been endorsed by the competitors. with the majority entering this year's Challenge driving two wheel drive cars.
According to CEO of the Bosch ARC, Scott Pedder the future champions of Australian Rallying have clearly embraced the rallyschool.com.au Australian Junior Rally Challenge in its second year.
"It is fantastic to see the calibre of drivers and teams competing within both the two wheel drive and four wheel drive section this year and the RAJC is certainly a competition to be proud of. "
"I have again been impressed this year with the professionalism of the junior crews and only hope that some of these guys get to realise their potential with manufacturer supported careers via the new and exciting Bosch ARC direction." said Scott Pedder.
"The final make up includes three wild card drivers who, while not qualifying in the four earlier rounds, impressed with their speed and competitiveness. In addition all of the wild cards qualified in two wheel drive machines due to the popularity of this section of the RAJC," explained Scott Pedder.
Rallyschool team principal, Mick Ryan says the Junior Challenge is an important boost to young rising stars of the sport and sees the contest as a great way to help promising drivers go to the next level.
"We have seen this with Tom Wilde who was our four wheel drive winner last year and is challenging for the outright four wheel drive championship this year while two wheel drive winner Will Orders is contesting the Rally America series in the USA where he is a contender for the two wheel drive championship," said Mick Ryan.
"It is also a contest that is about more than seeing who is the fastest. We work hard with the finalists to make them better drivers giving them access to coaching from Simon and Sue Evans as well as Brendan Reeves and Rhiannon Smyth. "
'It is a confidence booster for the drivers and a chance to gain invaluable knowledge and experience," he added.
"We also give the finalists a chance to learn more about sponsorship and understanding the commercial aspects of the sport via an informal seminar before the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally, explaining various aspects of raising funds to ensure their campaigns are well funded and managed, as well as crucial driver development issues such as media and PR."
Rallyschool.com.au Australian Junior Rally Challenge : Two Wheel Drive
The two wheel drive RAJC finalists comprises ECB Rally Calder winner Michael Busby, Quit Forest Rally winner Dylan King, International Rally of Queensland winner Steven McKenzie and Scouts Rally SA winner Guy Tyler.
In addition organisers have granted Queenslander Luke Page, Canberra's Adrian Coppin and NSW driver Adam Casmiri wild card entries into the final.
Michael Busby will return in the powerful Mazda RX7 following some repairs from a brush with a tree at the recent Scouts Rally SA.
Unfortunately for Dylan King he is unlikely to contest the final in his Ford Escort due to a date clash with the final round of the West Australian State Championship where he holds the outright lead in the two wheel drive category, highlighting what a big future he has in the sport.
Steven McKenzie who impressed all with his pace in Queensland will start favourite in his Ford Fiesta while South Australian Guy Tyler will try his luck in the tried and tested Renault Clio.
The wildcard entrants will be grasping their second chance at the Challenge with both hands. Luke Page has stepped up for the final and will be campaigning a newly acquired Suzuki Swift and is keen for a RAJC win to provide momentum for a factory backed effort at the outright championship in 2013.
A consistent and professional Adrian Coppin could prove the dark horse for the final, and has decided to step into a much more potent Toyota Corolla Sportivo following the sale of his Ford Fiesta ST150.
Adam Casmiri proved his potential at the recent Scouts Rally SA and to will be one to watch.
Rallyschool.com.au Australian Junior Rally Challenge : Four Wheel Drive
Dane Berry, Dan Day and James Rodda make up the four wheel drive contingent in the final of the rallyschool.com.au Australian Junior Rally Challenge at the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally.
It will be a battle between Mitsubishi and Subaru as the three fastest four wheel drive juniors in the country battle it out.
Victorian Dane Berry will be looking to continue the form which saw him take the honours at Rally Calder in March, while 18 year old Dan Day along with James Rodda will be out to prove that South Australia is the premier rally state for up and coming rally talent.
The winners of the two wheel drive Rallyschool Australian Junior Challenge will receive a fully funded entry in the final round of the Bosch ARC at Rally Victoria in an outright capable four wheel drive Rallyschool prepared car.
The winners of the four wheel drive section will receive free entry into the final round of the Bosch ARC, Rally Victoria along with $2000.
Both two wheel drive and four wheel drive winners will also receive a day's training for the driver and co-driver at Rallyschool, eight Kumho rally tyres and a much sought after test session in the exciting new G2 Spec Mazda2 of Simon and Sue Evans with special coaching from Simon Evans and Australian International rising star Brendan Reeves.
The Rallyschool Australian Junior Challenge will have a total of four hours of dedicated national TV coverage on the Ten Network and One HD with a special program being made from the final for broadcast in the weeks following Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally.
More than 2 million Australians will watch the Bosch ARC on TV in 2012 with the series generating more than 40 hours of national television coverage across the Ten/One HD network - a media equivalency value exceeding $12 million.
The Bosch Australian Rally Championship also receives support from- multi-national fuel and lubricant giant BP as the primary fuel supplier and for the third year Korean tyre giant Kumho as the exclusive tyre supplier for the championship. Other commercial partners include East Coast Bullbars, Honda, Rallyschool.com.au, Polaris, CanAm, Snake Racing and CAMS.

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