ARC-winning Subaru finds new owner for 2017 title
- 4th January 2017, 12:36am
Tasmanian driver, Craig Brooks, has purchased the Subaru WRX STI that Molly Taylor drove to victory in the 2016 Australian Rally Championship.
The three-time Tasmanian champion will debut the car in March’s opening round of the ARC, the Eureka Rally in Victoria, with the experienced Steve Glenney calling the pacenotes.
Brooks had a disastrous ARC campaign in 2016, in which he rolled his Subaru in the shakedown at the National Capital Rally, and then crashed the car on the first day, after which it burnt to the ground.
But the Tasmanian businessman is determined that 2017 will be more successful, and he will run the Les Walkden Rallying-built Subaru in PRC trim.
“At the end of 2015 we went to Begonia Rally to do only my third event on pacenotes, with Steve as co-driver, which we won,” Brooks told RallySport Magazine.
“That whet our appetite to try an ARC program, which ended abruptly in Canberra after a crew pacenoting error. I take full responsibility for that inexperience error, and really look forward to putting that demon behind me and getting the full feel for pacenotes.
“I am a seasoned competitor on blind events, but pacenote experience is limited to two gravel and two tarmac events, plus the three stages in Canberra.”
Brooks will fund the program himself through his own Contel Communications business, and after contesting the Eureka Rally, is hopeful of committing to the remaining rounds of the championship, including the Forest Rally in WA.
“I’m not sure how we will fare in a big, heavy PRC Subaru against the AP4 cars, but we will use the pedigree of the ARC-winning car to see how we can grow through the season,” Brooks said.
“LWR have a great reputation and have built a very nice car that is clearly competitive, but we have no expectation of results, but are really looking forward to getting out into the forest again.
“Les Walkden and his team have been very supportive of our endeavours, and we look forward to continuing to work with them,” he added.
Interestingly, Brooks also owns another ex-factory Subaru rally car – the 2005 Impreza WRX STI that Cody Crocker used to win the 2005 Australian Championship.
Brooks has won two Tassie titles in that car and managed a fifth and a third in ARC heats in 2007 and 2008. That car is likely to be sold to help fund his 2017 campaign.
- Peter Whitten
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