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Western Australia’s best rally and off-road competitors have their sights firmly set on roads of Nannup and Busselton ahead of next weekend’s Quit Forest Rally.

The Quit Forest Rally is the opening round of the West Australian Rally Championship (WARC), the WA Clubman Cup Series, the Side-by-Side Rally Challenge and a standalone event for Moto riders.

Current WARC champion and Busselton local Leigh Hynes will renew his battle with young gun and 2013 Quit Forest Rally class winner Dylan King as he aims to take his first title.

Looking to snatch victory off both Hynes and King will be Nannup cheese maker Tom Wilde. The former Australian Rally Championship (ARC) driver will be contesting the WARC component of the event before heading off to contest his first season in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

Seasoned Quit Forest Rally campaigner John O’Dowd will also be one to watch out in the forest finishing third outright at the event last year and 1st Group N in the WARC.  

“The Quit Forest Rally is one of the toughest rounds of the WARC and is run along some of the best roads - on one of the most challenge surfaces - in the state, which always leads to a very tight competition,” Quit Forest Rally Clerk of Course Ross Tapper said.

Wilde, Hynes, King and O’Dowd will lead the field of 8 West Australian crews who will also contest the Eastcoast Bullbars 4WD National Rally Series, which was added to the event to allow crews with 4WD vehicles to contest a national championship following the ARC’s move to a 2WD format.

Alongside the local drivers contesting the WARC, 22 crews will contest the WA Clubman Cup Series with 2013 event winner Mark Travers looking to take back-to-back victories. Travers will face tough competition from his team mates Jason Lowther and Shane Eather.

“One of the best aspects of rallying in Western Australia is the comradery between teams and crews,” Tapper said.

“While they are all looking to take the event win, across the event we have individual teams who are joining resources to support each other with Platinum Automotive, Maximum Motorsport, LRT Engineering, Rally Action Driving, Allstar Garage and MAXYrally running multiple car teams to ensure as many crews as possible have the opportunity to compete at the Quit Forest Rally,” he continued.

Graeme Miles will be flying the flag for the Classic cars out in the forest will his Holden Commodore sure to be a spectator favourite.

Outside of the rally car classes three West Australian crews have entered the Side-by-Side competition with Alan Grier, Dylan Minear and Dakar competitor Garry Connell all looking to take on some of the big names in the sport including Michael Guest and Cody Crocker.

The Quit Forest Moto class is dominated by West Australians, including the category’s sole female competitor and past WARC co-driver Hannah Drury, who will all be looking to topple defending event champion Ben Graham (NSW).  

The Quit Forest Rally is celebrating its 30th Birthday in 2014. The event is the second round of the ECB Australian Rally Championship, the first round of the West Australian Rally Championship and for the fourth year will also include competition for Side-by-Side, Motorbike and Quad entrants.

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