The Australian Rally Championship has initiated a new program to identify and reward talented up and coming rally drivers.

The Junior Australian Rally Challenge will run across four rounds of the 2011 ARC for drivers under 28 years and with categories for both two wheel drive and four wheel drive cars.

The Junior Australian Rally Challenge will comprise three qualifying rounds starting at the opening ARC round in WA on April 16-17, continuing at round two, the International Rally of Queensland in May and concluding at round three, the Rally of South Australia in July. Once qualifiers have been selected from those rounds the final shootout will be run in the ARC category of this year's World Championship Rally Australia event in September at Coffs Harbour.

According to ARC CEO, Scott Pedder, the Junior Australian Rally Challenge is a way of encouraging and identifying new driving talent to help the continued regeneration of the sport.

"The backing of Mick Ryan and his organization has been tremendous and enabled us to bring the whole Junior Australian Rally Challenge to fruition," said Scott Pedder.

"Like any sport if you don't encourage and reward up and coming talent the sport will wither and die," he said.

"It is not a new idea but it is one we felt necessary to reignite, because in the past Rallysport News ran a junior challenge and uncovered talent such as three times Australian Champion Cody Crocker," he added.

"We are very mindful that rallying can be expensive which makes it difficult for young talent to show itself but with the help of and some great incentives we are confident future champions will be uncovered in this year's ARC," he said.

Proprietor of Mick Ryan says the Junior Australian Rally Challenge is a chance for his company to showcase up and coming talent and to encourage more people to get involved in rallying.

"Our business is teaching people how to drive a rally car and if we can help the next young champion to come to prominence it will lift the entire sport's profile," said Mick Ryan.

"Victorian based Rallyschool instructor Brendan Reeves recently finished first in a shootout of 17 young hotshots from around the globe, winning a place in the 2011 WRC Academy, what we would like to uncover is the next generation ready to take it to the world stage, and we are proud to be able to play a pivotal role in that happening," said Mick.
"Three young drivers whom Rallyschool has already identified as talented potential rally champions look like taking part in the Junior Australian Rally Challenge including Victoran Ross Allen, a previous state Hyundai Excel champion, Matthew Amos, the 2009 NSW state champion and Jack Flanagan, a previous WA state clubman champion, all of whom will campaign in 2WD cars," Mick added.

The Junior Australian Rally Challenge will have more than four and a half hours of dedicated television coverage across the series on Channels TEN and ONE combined, including a dedicated one hour program on the final Junior shootout at Rally Australia, with the overall TV coverage worth better than $1million in 2011.

Entrants in the two wheel drive category of the JARC will be able to enter either a Group N or PRC car of unrestricted age and engine capacity so long as it adheres to Group N and PRC requirements.

The three highest points scorers from each of the qualifying rounds along with a 'wildcard' to be chosen by an ARC appointed panel will be to be eligible for the ten spots available in the two wheel drive final in the ARC section at Rally Australia.

In the four wheel drive section the highest point scorer from each of the three qualifying rounds plus a 'wildcard' will be eligible for the four positions available for the category final in the ARC section at Rally Australia.

The winning JARC two wheel drive crew at Rally Australia will receive a fully paid drive in a unrestricted ARC Car in the outright section of at the final round of this year's ARC - Rally Victoria along with a full day's tuition with reigning ARC champs Simon and Sue Evans.

The overall four wheel drive winner in the JARC at Rally Australia will receive a free entry in this year's Rally Victoria, with eight rally tyres from control tyre supplier Kumho, $2000 to assist with conversion of their car from PRC/Group N to ARC Car and a full day's tuition from Simon and Sue Evans, a total package worth more than $6000 in assistance.

Crews can enter one, two or three of the qualifying events and at each round crews will be scored on a mix of speed (stage and overall results) and consistency (overall). Crews can only qualify once. The cars will naturally all run on Kumho control tyres (with restrictions on the total number used per event) and on pump grade BP Ultimate 98 octane control fuel.

Series Registration for the JARC is just $300 if taking advantage of the "early bird" offer before March 18 or $600 if registering after March 18.

Entry fees for the JARC qualifying rounds have been reduced to levels similar to state level events while  all the RJARC will be seeded as separate group behind the overall ARC crews, they will have special service area at events and there will be a welcome evening at each of the qualifying events.

For further information on the 2011 Australian Rally Championship email

For potential competitors in the Junior Australian Rally Challenge, final regulations will be released by February 18th - stay tuned to the Competitors section on for further details of this great new part of the new and unrestricted 2011 Australian Rally Championship.
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