Kaplan chases tarmac rallying podium
- 12th May 2016, 5:54am
Hunters Hill businessman Adam Kaplan is on a mission this month, aiming for a win in the second round of the 2016 Australian Tarmac Rally Championship.
Kaplan had to settle for second place in the first round at Victoria’s Mt Baw Baw earlier this year, pipped for the win by a tarmac rally rookie.
He and Launceston-based co-driver/navigator Aleshia Penney brought their 1985 Mazda RX7 home two minutes and 17 seconds behind Victorian driver, Alan Roe, who was competing in only his second tarmac event, in a 2000 Lancer Evo 6.5.
Third place went to Adelaide’s Ben Calder (2000 Lancer Evo 6.5), and while he will be competing at Victoria’s Lake Mountain over the weekend of May 28-29, Roe won’t – and Kaplan has his eye on the prize.
The owner/managing director of Ryde car dealership, Hunter Holden, has far more motorsport experience than either of his previous podium partners and admitted he had hoped to win the first round; now he’s on a mission for the second.
“The Lake Mountain Sprint is on a road that has some tighter, twister sections than the Mt Baw Baw Sprint,” Kaplan says, "so that might help us keep up with guys like Ben [Calder] in their 4WD machines.
“Ben certainly did a great job at Mt Baw Baw in February and I’m sure he will be quick – and, of course, others we have to look out for include Barrie Smith from Canberra in his Audi TT, who just missed out on a podium last time, and [defending 2015 ATRC champion] Craig Dean in the Mustang.
“They’re both quick and Craig, in particular, has a lot to prove in this event after having such a bad run at Mt Baw Baw in February, and then again at Targa Tasmania, so we will be watching him very closely.”
Kaplan has several regular co-drivers, and this time it will be Mary Hughes, not Aleshia Penney, calling the notes from the passenger seat. While they are not making outrageous claims about their chances, Kaplan says they have the same goal.
“We’ll be running as hard as we can, having fun and going fast. We’ll see if that’s enough to get the job done, come Sunday afternoon.”
The Lake Mountain Sprint uses closed public roads in the vicinity of the Lake Mountain ski resort, near Marysville in the Yarra Ranges National Park.
The route is made up of 16 closed road ‘special’ competition stages run from Marysville to Cumberland Junction (on the Warburton/Woods Point Road) as well as up and down the access road between Marysville and the summit of Lake Mountain. Competitors ‘race’ the clock, not door-to-door, and the crew covering the full distance in the shortest time is the winner.
After the Lake Mountain Sprint, the ATRC goes into ‘hibernation’ over the winter months, with competitors having to wait until the weekend of September 24-25 for their next fix (Snowy River Sprint, based at Lakes Entrance) before the 2016 ‘grand final’ (Great Tarmac Rally, also near Marysville) on December 10-11.
All the ATRC events are open to modern (modified), classic (pre-1982) and showroom-spec vehicles which meet tarmac rally specifications (full rollcage etc). Regularity and touring options are also available, with special tuition available to touring category entrants, courtesy of Phil Brock.
Around 50 cars are expected to contest the Lake Mountain Sprint, across all three categories.
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