Crews ready for competition following Quit Forest Rally shakedown
- 30th March 2012, 7:24pm
Shepheard, who is currently placed second outright in the Bosch ARC Four-Wheel-Drive Championship, will be seeded first on the road and will have the hard task of sweeping the uniquely ball bearing road surface in the forest of Nannup across the weekend.
“We’re pretty excited to be sitting on top of the time sheets, but it’s still very early days in the event and there are a lot of boys here this weekend that know the roads well and I know are going to be fast, so we’re just going to do our best,” Shepheard said.
“We’d like to think that we can stay on top for the rest of the event, but being car one on the road it’s going to be very slippery, so honestly we’re just going to have to go out there and try our hardest and see where we end up.”
Local driver and current Four-Wheel-Drive Championship leader Tom Wilde was fourth fastest in Shakedown but spent some time with former Australian Rally Champion and tarmac specialist Neal Bates and believes the changes made will reflect on the opening stages of the rally tonight.
“I went out with Batesy (Neal Bates) because I haven’t done much tarmac rallying and thought he might be able to give me a few tips on where I can improve, and he did, he just got me to break later and to put my foot into it a bit more coming out of the corner and we got down to a 33.3 (1:33.3),” Wilde said.
Despite running in the classic field this weekend Bates has proven that he is still one of the men to beat around the 2.16 kilometres tarmac course, second fastest around the stage in his Toyota Celica RA40.
“I’m obviously very happy with the result, not a bad drive for an old fella in an old car,” Bates joked. “I enjoy the Super Special, I’ve had a lot of tarmac experience so I’d expect the car would go pretty well around here, but I probably didn’t think it would go that well,” he continued.
In the Two-Wheel-Drive Championship the Honda drivers of Eli Evans and Mark Pedder spent the morning making some all important changes to the cars to get them ready for the tarmac stages with their times showing improvement throughout the morning.
“The car is feeling good, It’s my first time around here in the Honda and we made some good changes after our first few runs this morning so I’m looking forward to getting out there tonight,” Mark Pedder said.
Quit Forest Rally Shakedown Results:
Class: ARC2 (Two-Wheel-Drive)
1. Eli Evans/Glen Weston (Honda Jazz) 1:36.5
2. Mark Pedder/Claire Ryan (Honda jazz) 1:38.2
3. Jack Monkhouse/Dale Moscatt (Nissan Sylvia S15) 1:39.4
Class: ARC 4 (Four-Wheel-Drive)
1. Steven Shepheard/John McCarthy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) 1.33.0
2. Michael Boaden/Helen Cheers (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) 1.34.4
3. Tom Wilde/Lee Tierney (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) 1.34.8
4. Nicholas Box/Ash Ridden Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10) 1.36.1
5. Tony Sullens/Julia Barkely (Subaru Impreza WRX) 1.36.2
6. Leigh Hynes/Stuart Percival (Subaru Impreza WRX) 1.38.8
7. Simon Knowles/Margot Knowles(Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1.39.9
8. Shane Jacobson/Darren Masters (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) 1.40.4
9. Mick Patton/Bernie Webb (Subaru Impreza WRX Sti) 1.41.1
10. Gerald Schofield/Nathan Long (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1.42.9
Class: Classic Rally Challenge
1. Neal Bates/Coral Taylor (Toyota Celica RA40) 1.34.2
2. Jeffery David/Grant Geelan (Porsche 911) 1.40.2
Class: RallySchool.com.au Australian Junior Challenge
1. Dan Day/Steve Glenney (Subaru Impreza WRX Sti) 1.42.1
2. Dylan King/Andrew Hannigan (Ford Escort) 1.50.1
The Quit Forest Rally will also include rounds of the Australian Four-Wheel-Drive, Australian Two-Wheel-Drive Championship, West Australian Rally Championship, Quit Forest Rally Moto, Western Australian Clubman Cup Series and the Shannons Busselton Sprint.
With more than 87 cars and bikes competing across the weekend (March 30 – 1 April) the Quit Forest Rally is a motorsport extravaganza you don’t want to miss.
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