Kirup Stages is penultimate WARC round
- 6th September 2016, 11:00pm
The fifth round of the Onslow Contracting Western Australian Rally Championship (WARC) gets underway this weekend with rally competitors tackling six stages of forestry terrain in Kirup and Grimwade for the Wheels on Yirrigan Kumho Tyre Kirup Stages.
The round is the second-last chance for outright competitors to solidify or improve their standings, and no doubt competition will be fierce at the pointy end of the field, with less than 20 points separating the top three.
Event Clerk of Course Tony Floyd said the round is a great one to spectate at.
“Being one of the later rounds in the series, there is likely to be plenty of action on show for spectators, and we have three designated spectator points that will give the public a fantastic view.
“This year’s course has been shortened slightly to just under 100 competitive kilometres, and we’re holding the event later in the year than normal to offer competitors dryer conditions.
“Competitors should still be wary that this course is slippery in parts, so they will need to maintain their focus.”
Competitor John Macara says he is probably one of the few hoping for a good rain before the weekend.
“If the course gets wet, it’s greasy and slippery - and that will be good because it calls on your experience and brings an added challenge.”
Leading the outright championship is Doug Tostevin and Tammy Adams in the S-Technic Subaru WRX STI on 221 points. The pair have consistently picked up points in all rounds of the championship so far.
Just 10 points behind the leaders sits Dylan King and Abbey Hayes in the DK Earthworx Subaru WRX STI. King and Hayes have had a season peppered with highs and lows – with two round wins at both the Trade Hire Karri Rally and Quit Experts Cup and a DNF due to mechanical issues at MRF Tyres Boddington round.
Michael Steele is third on 202 points. Steele’s season has so far been consistent, picking up points in every round. For the Kirup Stages, Steele will have Chris Parish in the co-driver’s seat of the Japline Natrad Malaga Subaru WRX STI.
With three more events to run and 240 points still on offer, the season is far from over for 2WD Championship and Clubman Cup competitors.
Competitors in the 2WD category will have the tough task of keeping Razvan Vlad and Daymon Nicoli from continuing to claim the lion share of points. After a horrible run of luck the past couple of years, it has all been going right for Vlad and Nicoli this season. The pair lead the 2WD Championship in their Maxyrally.com.au Ford Fiesta. Second-placed Shane Harmer and Nicholas Anyan in the Onslow Contracting Holden Commodore VH have a 51 point gap to close in order to catch the leaders.
Third place in the 2WD Championship is occupied by Andy Van Kann and Madelin Kirkhouse. For the Kirup Stages the duo will be briefly stepping out of their blue Toyota Corolla and back into the white Trade Hire Toyota Corolla TE27 that served them so well last season.
"The 2WD championship is once again shaping up to be a very close affair,” said Van Kann. "From first place through to sixth place there are only 100 points separation, and plenty of points still up for grabs."
"Our chances of hanging onto third are slim. We feel we are the slowest of the top six, so it will take a lot of attrition by the others for us to keep this position, which would be an unlikely scenario."
"Our little blue Toyota is currently undergoing a major suspension upgrade, so Madelin and I are using the white Corolla for Kirup. It’s not as quick as ‘Bluey’ but remains our sentimental favourite.”
There has been entry growth in the Clubman Cup category for the Wheels on Yirrigan Kumho Tyre Kirup Stages, with 18 teams lining up to take part. Among the entries are plenty of new faces, showing that this category is a fantastic place for those who wish to take up gravel rallying but are limited in their time or budget.
It has been a very consistent season so far for Clubman Cup leaders Dene Courtis and Robert King, with the duo crossing the finish line in second place at every round so far. The team has amassed 272 points in their Askwith Safe Company Toyota Corolla GT, 12 ahead of Rallyrats Carl and Tracey Rattenbury. However, in the Co-driver’s point score Tracey Rattenbury leads comfortably.
Andrew Percival and Jim Pearce round out the top three in their Thornlie Towing Honda Civic, after collecting points in every round to total 176.
For further information on the Western Australian Rally Championship rounds, road closures and results please refer to www.rallywa.com.
The Onslow Contracting Western Australian Rally Championship is supported by Healthway and the Quit message, Onslow Contracting, Verandah Apartments and Auto One.
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