‘Bay’ shaping us as ‘Mini ARC’ say event organisers
This weekend’s AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay is shaping up as a ‘mini ARC’ with a field of least 65 cars and some prominent ARC competitors backing up from last weekend’s Tasmanian round to continue the battle on the picturesque South Coast of NSW in the forests around Batemans Bay.
The AMH Rally of the Bay is organised by the North Shore Sporting Car Club, and continues a tradition of rallying around Batemans Bay , which dates back to Bunbury Curran ARC rounds in the early 1970s. North Shore has been running state championship rallies in the area for more than 40 years and it continues to be one of the most popular and respected events on the rally calendar, this year will be no exception.
As well as some of the ARC contenders the cream of NSW and Victorian Championship rallying will be doing battle in what is a dual round of both State Championships.
Richie Dalton heads the entry list as car 1 in his Ford Fiesta G4, backing up from Tasmania along with Luke Anear also backing up in his brand new Fiesta R5.
Victorian Glenn Raymond who currently leads the NSW State Championship standings in his Evo 9 Lancer starts as car 2, while JJ Hatton will have his Hyundai G4 car in starting position 3 ahead of Arron Windus in his Subaru in car 4. Tom Clarke will be car 5 in his Evo 9.
Behind them, comes NSW front runner Tristan Kent in an Evo 9, ARC regular Mick Patton in his Evo X and Darren Windus in his VW Polo S2000 car, multiple Rally of the Bay winner and local Gavin Croker is car 9 in his always quick Lancer, while Richard Shimmon rounds out the top ten in his Mitsubishi.
Luke Anear, who got quicker on every stage at the debut of his Fiesta in Tassie will potentially give Richard Shimmon reason to keep an eye on his mirrors starting from position 11, with the highly experienced ‘rally whisperer’ Steve Glenney sitting alongside calling the notes.
The quality field includes NSW state contenders Andrew Penny, Tm Wilkins and Tony Sullens. A total of 15 VRC contenders led by Arron Windus and Wayne Stewart have made the trip north to the Bay, while a field of 16 classic cars will be contesting the East Coast Classic Rally Series led by the RS1800 Escorts of Luke Systema, Mick O’Hagan and Justin Walker, as well as the Datsun 240Z of Peter Dimmock.
The one day event has a total distance of 275km with 129km of competitive running over six Special Stages, all in daylight.
The ceremonial start will be in the main street of Batemans Bay from 8.45am on Saturday, with the first car due to finish at 4.45 pm. The service park is the picturesque Corrigan’s Beach Reserve next to the sea, which adds to the atmosphere.
Rally manager Nigel Bland and clerk of course Ian Bigg are promising fantastic roads, and say that the hot field means “It will be all ON, like Donkey Kong!” and that competition will be fierce on some of the best rally roads in the country.
“There is a reason why Batemans always draws big fields, and that is the roads, the friendly atmosphere and the camaraderie,” said Nigel Bland.
Fort further information visit www. rallynsw.com.au or www.nsscc.com.au