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This Saturday from 12.30pm, the Carrington’s Safari Rally, Australia’s longest continually run rally, will see the series champion crowned in the Onslow Contracting 4WD Western Australian Rally Championship (WARC).  It is the penultimate round of the for 2WD and Clubman Cup championships.
 
Dylan King and Abbey Hayes, 2016 Kirup Stages. Photo: CMR PhotographicThe battle for outright top podium place in the 4WD WARC will be hotly contested between current leaders Dylan King and co-driver Abbey Hayes in their DK Earthworks Subaru Imprezza WRX STI and Doug Tostevin and his co-driver Tammy Adams in their S Technic Specialist Subaru Garage Subaru Imprezza WRX STI.

Just four points separates them and with 80 points awarded to the winner and 68 points to second place at Carrington’s Safari, the tables could easily turn.
 
Points allocated will be 80, 68, 60, 52, 44, 40, 36, 32, 28, 24, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 from first place to twentieth place respectively.
 
Held in the around Chidlow and Mundaring, four stages totalling 58.7 kilometres will be run in the Clubman Cup. Competitors in 4WD and 2WD will competed on those stages twice, making their total competitive kilometres 117.7 kilometres, with one service.
 
The Carrington’s Safari Rally has caused upsets in the past and the recent wet weather is likely to do the same.
 
Clerk of Course Wendy Walker said that there are two new stages and two stages from previous years included in the Carrington’s Safari itinerary.
 
“The stages are challenging, there’s a lot of water out there, some good places for a car washing experience!” Walker quipped.
 
“It could be muddy in places. And that’s what it's about, challenging stages – a typical Safari rally.”
 
Doug TostevinDoug Tostevin and Tammy Adams, Kirup Stages. Photo: CMR PhotographicDriver Doug Tostevin said he is reasonably confident he has what it takes to go the distance.
 
“I'm confident I have a car that will go the distance, but I’ll wait to see how the pace is. We’ll settle into a steady pace and hope conditions suit our car. The car is great, we’ve got new tyres to try and I’m keen to see how they perform. I think it’s a going to be a good battle and anything can happen in Safari – I’m very much looking forward to it,” Tostevin said.
 
Currently in third place outright, driver Mick Steele said he has a plan.
 
“Because of the format of one service, there’s just no point in pushing it. We don't want anything to go wrong. We haven’t done it for four years, we don’t have notes like others. While we can’t beat Dylan King or Doug Tostevin, John O’Dowd can still beat us, so he might push. We are going to drive to complete the rally and hopefully finish the championship in third outright,” Steele said.
 
Another to watch is Mark Pedder and co-driver Glenn Macneal who have entered their Pedders Suspension Rally Team Peugeot 208 Maxi in preparation for the World Rally Championship event Rally Australia held in NSW next month.
 
“The Carrington’s Safari Rally works for us from timing point of view and the car is based in Perth, so it made sense to enter. We'll be putting the car through its paces and testing the new engine that was replaced after we blew the last one at Rally SA,” Pedder said.
 
“I’ve never competed in this event and the last time I was in that area was about 2003 for Rally Australia way back when it was held in WA.  I remember the stages being very technical and rough in parts. I’m looking forward to coming and competing in WA again, the stages are so unique, it’ll be good fun.”
 
In the 2WD category, there are four competitors batting for top honours. Going into the Carrington’s Safari, MAXYrally.com.au’s Razvan Vlad and co-driver Daymon Nicoli lead with 171 points. Onslow Contracting Shane Harmer and co-driver Nicholas Anyan are on 148 points, Greg Flood Electrical driver Greg Flood and co-driver and daughter Deanne Flood on 145 points, and Trade Hire’s Andy Van Kann and co-driver Madelin Kirkhouse on 135 points.
 
In the Clubman Cup, which is four stages and half the distance of WARC, Askwith Safe Company’s Dene Courtis and co-driver Robert King lead with 312 points, and Rally Rats’ Carl Rattenbury with co-driver and wife Tracey Rattenbury are hot on their heels with 304 points.
 
Competitors contesting for championship title honours in both the 2WD category and Clubman Cup will have to perform well at Carrington’s Safari this weekend and in the Darling 200 rally on November 12.
 
Originally the Light Car Club Safari Rally, The Carrington’s Safari is still run by the Light Car Club today, the first rally was run in 1966.

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