Crowd favourites to return to Quit Forest Rally
- 7th March 2012, 3:26pm
Two former champions and two crowd favourites will return to the forests of Western Australia for the 2012 Quit Forest Rally, to be held in Busselton and Nannup from 30 March to 1 April.
Quit Forest Rally 2008 event winner and four-time Australian rally champion Neal Bates has his sights set on a return to the event for the first time in three years, competing in a fully-restored 1980 Toyota Celica RA40 in the 2012 Australian Classic Rally Challenge.
“It is definitely my plan to come over, I’d like to do all the rounds and I love going over to Perth, I think Ross (Tapper) runs one of the best events in the Championship,” Bates said.
“I also really love the truck drive over there so for me it’s a bit of a holiday and get away. Most people don’t enjoy driving across the Nullabor but I do and it’s another great part of the event.”
Bates and long-time co-driver Coral Taylor made their return to competition at Rally Calder over the weekend and enjoyed being back in a more relaxed way than they were used to.
“I’m really enjoying being back, I’m paying for this myself so the idea was to do it cheap, well I hope this will be cheap, but it’s very relaxing and really enjoyable,” Bates said.
With the focus of the Bosch ARC moving towards a new generation of two-wheel-drive rally cars, former Mitsubishi factory driver Jack Monkhouse is also returning to the Bosch ARC full time after a six-year absence.
Driving a Nissan Sylvia S15 Monkhouse will be competing for the Australian Two-Wheel-Drive Championship against a host of drivers including the factory backed Honda teams of Eli Evans/Glen Weston and Mark Pedder/Claire Ryan.
“I love the forest rally, I haven’t been there since 2005 so I can’t wait to go back. The roads are great; nice, fast and twisty and it’s a very exciting surface to drive on so I’m really looking forward to seeing how the new car will go on the stages,” Monkhouse said.
Another exciting addition to the action out in the forest is the Australian Side-by-Side Rally Challenge, which will see two former Australian rally favourites, Cody Crocker (Quit Forest Rally Champion 2003, 2005) and Michael Guest return to the event.
The Quit Forest Rally will also include rounds of the Australian Four-Wheel-Drive Australian Championship, West Australian Rally Championship, Quit Forest Rally Moto, Western Australian Clubman Cup Series and the Busselton Toyota Super Sprint.
With more than 150 cars and bikes expected to compete across the weekend the Quit Forest Rally is a motorsport extravaganza you don’t want to miss.
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