Bumper ARC field for this week’s Rally Victoria
- 12th November 2012, 9:06am
A bumper field of close to 60 cars is confirmed for the final round of the Bosch Australian Rally Championship at Rally Victoria on 16-17 November.
The largest ARC field of 2012 boasts 26 entries complimented by 24 Victorian Rally Championship and six classic rally teams for the Gippsland based rally.
Although the previous round at Coffs Harbour saw a good deal of carnage with WA driver Nic Box and South Australian tearaway Jack Monkhouse destroying their cars in crashes and Queenslander Steve Shepheard detonating his Lancer's engine the rising popularity of the ARC has continued with the best ARC field so far this year.
While Box, Monkhouse and Shepheard won't be competing there will still be plenty of fight amongst the top contenders in Victoria.
Although Monkhouse won't be competing he will still be a spectacular addition to the rally thrilling the spectators by driving the Zero safety car at the head of the field and will.
The ARC numbers have been strengthened by a number of state crews stepping up to have a shot at the National Event.
Eli Evans is tipped to be the man to beat in the record field of eight Bosch two wheel drive ARC cars as he aims for a clean sweep in the works Honda Jazz.
Fellow Honda driver Mark Pedder is seeking his maiden two wheel drive win along with Simon Evans in the Mazda2, who scored his first two wheel drive heat win last round, and Matt Amos who is hoping to score back to back podium finishes.
Rally Victoria will also play host to the final round of the Bosch four wheel drive ARC era.
Subaru WRX driver Mick Patton is hoping to complete an amazing year at Rally Victoria by securing second place in the championship behind already crowned 2012 champion Michael Boaden.
Patton only came to the sport just over three years ago having won a drive at Rally Australia in Northern NSW in 2009. He has shown amazing improvement in 2012 delivering speed and consistency through the championship, culminating with a podium finish at the penultimate round at Coffs Harbour last month but says he has been focussing on finishing rallies rather than chasing results.
The strong field of four-wheel drive ARC teams also features Queensland Subaru driver Matt van Tuinen and Rallyschool Australian Junior Challenge winners Dane Berry and Adam Casmiri who are out to challenge the established outright Bosch ARC field.
CEO of the Bosch ARC, Scott Pedder says Rally Victoria will be the ideal finish to what has been a fantastic year of rallying.
"This year we've seen two drivers claim maiden round win, two new champions in Eli Evans and Michael Boaden and spectacular drives at every event," said Scott Pedder.
"Rally Victoria is shaping up as a great event to top off a fantastic year for the Bosch ARC with the largest field of the year proving that the championship is in good shape heading into the new era next year."
The rally is set to run across Friday and Saturday with the VIP Media ride day at the picturesque Lardner Park Exhibition Complex on Friday morning before crews tackle four forestry special stages on Friday afternoon from 1.30pm.
Four times Australian champion Neal Bates heads the field of six Classic Rally Challenge cars in his spectacular Celica RA40.
The top Classic and ARC crews return to Lardner Park on Friday evening for two runs over the spectacular Super Special Stage.
Spectators will get the chance to not only view the action at Lardner but also take in the crews fettling the rally machines in a two hour service following the stages, as the teams prepare for Saturday's tough 140km of competition.
Day two of Rally Victoria is set to kick off at 7am on Saturday with the ARC and Classic crews being joined by the 24 car VRC field with the entire field tackling the nine special stages before the finish at Lardner Park on Saturday afternoon.
Spectating information is available at http://www.rallyvictoria.com.au/page.cfm/spectators
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