Big field for Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally
- 1st October 2012, 9:20am
As well as a bumper field of outright Bosch ARC contenders, rally fans will be thrilled with a total of ten of Australia's best classic rally cars - including two multiple Australian Champions and a variety of machinery.
The talent rich 67 car field sees a total of 17 Australian Rally Championships shared amongst the drivers with multiple champs including Cody Crocker, Simon Evans, Neal Bates and Ross Dunkerton lining up for the rally, which will cover more than 600km over two days.
The outright ARC field will be headed by local North Coast driver Michael Boaden in his Mitsubishi Evo IX who currently heads the Bosch four wheel drive Australian Championship. A total of 23 Bosch ARC cars will face the starter including local hero Nathan Quinn who makes a return to the ARC after contesting the Malaysian Rally Championship this year.
The intense battle between the Evans brothers , Eli in his factory Honda G2 Jazz and his four times Aussie champ brother Simon in his new Mazda is sure to be a highlight with Eli holding the upper hand after beating his brother at the last round in South Australia. The Rallyschool team of Simon Evans has been working tirelessly on improving the Mazda performance after its impressive debut in Adelaide and the spectacular driving of Simon Evans will be a real crowd pleaser at Coffs.
The Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally is also the all important final of the Rallyschool Australian Junior Challenge with eight of Australia's fastest rally young guns fighting it out for two fully paid drives in the final round of the ARC. The eight finalists have qualified in the opening four round of the Bosch ARC with three contesting the four wheel drive category and five battling out the two wheel drive category, the winner of both going to the final round in a fully paid drive.
Four time champion Neal Bates is favourite for the classic battle in his Toyota RA40 Celica however a brace of the best Ford Escort RS1800 classics including five-time champion Ross Dunkerton, rally legend Ed Mulligan and Queensland gun Stewart Reid and will be out to try and defeat Bates and prevent him from claiming another round Classic win.
As well as the flying Celica and rapid Escorts there will be two thundering Triumph TR7 V8s taking on the Coffs Coast roads along with an impressive Fiat 131, a Datsun P150, an array of Ford Escorts and a Toyota Corolla.
According to Scott Pedder, CEO of the Bosch Australian Rally Championship, the strong classic field ads a unique flavour to the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally.
"The Australian Classic Rally Challenge and local classic competitors always add some colour and flair to accompany the modern Bosch ARC cars," Scott Pedder said.
"The classic cars all have unique sounds as they come through the forest and are great to see at spectator points."
The Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally will also host the final round of the Australian Side by Side Rally Challenge and for the first time the side by sides will lead the Bosch Australian Rally Championship cars through the forest.
"The side by sides are an exciting and different type of rallying," Scott Pedder said.
"Having the Side by Sides at the front of the field will allow rally fans a better opportunity to see them in action and to see just how exciting they are through the stages."
There will be 11 of the new age side by side machines facing the starter and although Polaris factory driver Cody Crocker has a dominant lead in the series, Can-Am contracted pilot Michael Guest is hoping to level the score in the manufacturer battle which currently favours Polaris two to one.
Event sponsor Snake Racing has also drafted an exciting newcomer into its team for the Side by Side Challenge with 2010 Bosch ARC runner up Ryan Smart sure to give Crocker and Guest plenty of hurry up in the two day rally.
Along with the Bosch ARC competitors the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally will also play host to two rounds of the NSW State Rally Championship with the 20 entrants contesting round four of the series on Saturday and round five of the state series on Sunday.
Canberra driver Michael Harding leads the championship in his Subaru after scoring well in the opening rounds of the series in Bega and Batemans Bay over the past three months.
The Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally takes place 12-14 October using New South Wales' best rally roads and the same roads as the World Rally Championship with utilise next year.
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