Monkhouse aims for strong finish in Forest Rally
- 16th March 2012, 12:01pm
Flamboyant South Australian rally driver Jack Monkhouse is back in the Bosch Australian Rally Championship (ARC) and has his eyes set on a good showing at the upcoming Quit Forest Rally.
Monkhouse has returned to the Bosch ARC due to the introduction of the Australian Two-Wheel-Drive Championship, which was designed to deliver cars that are exciting to watch, hear and drive while opening up the Championship to new manufactures and teams.
The former Mitsubishi factory driver has been absent from the national series since 2005 and is excited to be returning to the Quit Forest Rally in just a few weeks.
“Running an Evo (Mitsubishi Evolution) was always very expensive, just running it and also replacing parts, which is why I had a few years out of the national championship, only doing a few events in my rear-wheel-drive old Datsun,” Monkhouse said.
“The Two-Wheel-Drive is much more cost effective to build and maintain so it was the perfect opportunity for us to get back into the ARC.”
With only one event under his belt in the new car Monkhouse is confident but realistic about his chances in the forests of Western Australia. He is also very away of the advantage current leaders Eli Evans and Glen Weston will have after competing in a two-wheel-drive Honda for the last two years
“Rally Calder was our first event in the car and it wasn’t your traditional rally so it’s hard to know how fast we will be in comparison to the Honda’s (Honda Jazz G2) on the real forest stages but at least we know on the wet, tight and twisty stages it’s got a bit of pace,” Monkhouse said.
“The biggest advantage Eli (Evans) and Glen (Weston) will have is that they’ve got knowledge on the roads more recently than me,” he said.
“It’s been six years since I’ve been there, and while I’m sure many of the roads are still similar the year on year experience always helps. Pace notes are the biggest key to your speed and obviously we’re going to be writing brand new notes so we have to check them and make sure they are 100 per cent and then trust them first time out.”
The Quit Forest Rally will also include rounds of the Australian Four-Wheel-Drive Australian Championship, West Australian Rally Championship, Quit Forest Rally Moto, Western Australian Clubman Cup Series and the Busselton Toyota Super Sprint.
With more than 150 cars and bikes expected to compete across the weekend (March 30 – 1 April) the Quit Forest Rally is a motorsport extravaganza you don’t want to miss.
Photo: Stuart Bowes
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