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The Eureka Rally entry list has been released, with a number of leading contenders set to battle it out on the roads around Ballarat, Victoria. Sitting atop the entry list is former Australian Rally Champion, Eli Evans, and new co-driver, Ben Searcy. After co-driving for the likes of Brendan Reeves, Nathan Quinn and Simon Evans in the past, Searcy will be hoping to bring his experience to the Mini Cooper AP4 in Glen Weston’s absence, after the Queenslander retired. The Evans Motorsport team will be spurred on by a strong Rally Australia performance last November, where the car ran well. Harry Bates will also be after consistency with his new AP4-spec Yaris after a nightmare start in 2017.
Harry Bates Toyota Yaris AP4

Harry Bates will be searching for a clean run in the Yaris. Photo: Peter Whitten

Arguably the favourite for the title, Bates and co-driver, John McCarthy, will look to repeat their Eureka Rally performance from 2017, when they took victory. Molly Taylor will start as car three for Subaru do Motorsport, and will be hoping for another consistent season. A new co-driver to replace the retiring Bill Hayes is expected to be announced in the coming days. Glen Raymond and Adrian Coppin follow the top three, both in new cars – a Mitsubishi Lancer and Peugeot 208 respectively.
Glen Raymond Lancer Evo 9

Glen Raymond with his new Lancer Evo 9 that he'll debut in the Eureka Rally. Photos: Ivan Glavas

Then comes the Subarus of Brad Markovic, Craig Brooks and Victorian Ben Hayes. Young guns Lewis Bates and Wayne Morton will both drive their Toyota Corolla S2000s in what looks like will be a great battle. John O’Dowd also returns following his third place in last year’s championship. He will start as car 15. Leading the Victorian Rally Championship section are Warren Lee (Mitsubishi) and Matt Lee (Subaru), both with extensive experience on both sides of the car. Matt Lee, a former Australian Rally Champion co-driver, was a pacesetter in the Victorian Club Rally Series last year.
Lee Nightmoves Doutch | RallySport Magazine | Australia's Best Rally Magazine

Matt Lee in action at the Nissan Nightmoves in 2017. Photo: John Doutch

Ryan Clinnick is seeded third in the VRC field, followed by Tony Moore, and the screaming Escort BDA of Grant Walker a few cars back. The Eureka Rally will begin with a testing and shakedown day on Thursday, March 1st, before competition runs on the Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4. https://twitter.com/EurekaRally/status/963701234338164736
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