Drivers ready to jump and splash in new WA rally
- 25th May 2014, 11:53pm
WA’s rally drivers are ready to launch over the jumps that former world champions flew over when WA hosted Rally Australia.
The former ‘Bunnings jumps’ and the water splash are features of the inaugural Newmont Boddington Gold Rally which will be run on the long weekend of Saturday May 31 and Sunday June 1.
The 10-stage event has a bumper entry list and competitors are excited about the Rally Australia heritage of the course.
Young gun Dylan King, 18, who’s on top of the WA Rally Championship (WARC) leaderboard after two rounds said: “I can't wait to hit the jumps I watched with my family back when I was four years of age watching the World Rally Championship (WRC).
“To be able to do them myself is pretty exciting.”
Former WRC competitor and reigning Asia Pacific Champion co-driver Glenn Macneall, whose last Boddington venture was with Chris Atkinson said: “I always loved those stages.” Macneall, who earlier this year relocated home to WA from New Zealand, will call the shots in the new rally for Brad Markovic in a Subaru WRX.
Nicholas Box, who hasn’t competed so far this year, will be back in competition and back behind of the wheel of the car he ran in his 2013 Australian Rally Championship campaign, a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV.
Box said the new event would have an even playing field for all competitors: “No-one has notes from previous years and no-one will be particularly familiar with the roads.”
In the 2WD competition, Sean Keating tops the pointscore and said his plan was to make sure he finished the rally.
“It’s still really early days, but we’ve got a pretty good chance at the championship if I can keep it on the road and finish all the events,” he said.
Keating’s main rival, Razvan Vlad, who’s had a tough start to the 2014 rally season recording two DNFs in his Ford Fiesta, will miss the event because of an overseas holiday, but his co-driver Daymon Nicoli will still compete.
Nicoli has hitched a ride with Stephen Wade, a regular in the Vlad/Nicoli service team and said: “I’m looking forward to competing without the pressure.”
Andy van Kann, who was the 2WD Challenge winner in the last round of the WARC, is feeling the stress: “The race is now on for Platinum Automotives to get my spare engine ready.”
“With the extra rally this year, it was always going to be tough getting the car ready for every round,” he added.
Karl Drummond, who is a part of a five-car team with Geoff Leatt-Hayter, Andrew Percival, Brad Nowell and Neil Trethowen agreed.
“At the moment it's head down, tails up to get all the cars turned around after Donnelly,” he said.
Meanwhile, current Clubman Cup champion Mark Travers is already ready for the event and has entered the outright division.
“I can't wait to get back on pace notes and having the extra kilometres was appealing,” he said.
The Newmont Boddington Gold Rally will be run over 135 kilometres for outright and 2WD competitors and 68 kilometres for Clubman cars.
The event starts from the old school oval on Bannister Road in Boddington at 4pm on Saturday May 31.
Event organiser Wendy Walker said: “There will be lots of spectator action.”
Spectator information is available at www.rallywa.com.
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