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The Australian Rally Commission has agreed to a number of reforms to establish a new category framework for older rally cars, enabling them to enter rally competitions that provide for Classic Rally Cars from 2015.

“There is no organised competition, or aligned set of regulations, for all those older rally cars that might not fully comply with existing regulations governing other categories. Competitors with these vehicles are reliant on organisers offering an ‘all comers’ class,“ ARCom Chairman Colin Trinder said.  

“ARCom has identified this as a potential barrier to some competitors participating in the sport.

“ARCom is also acutely aware that there are a number of competitors who have embraced the existing Classic and Historic Rally Car regulations to build their cars to strict regulations that actually reflect the period in history when they were competing. ARCom thinks it is equally important not to compromise the integrity of our existing Classic and Historic rallying,” Trinder said.

In May 2014 ARCom considered a possible model for defining the categories applying to older vehicles proposed by a group of classic rally car enthusiasts. An Advisory Group of classic rally car enthusiasts was formed under the leadership of David Thompson, a leading classic rally car enthusiast and competitor, to provide advice to ARCom on the possible structure for classic rally car competitions.

As a result of that process the following categories will be recognised for all levels of rally competition from 2015.

General Principles:

  • All CAMS recognised rally cars over 30 years of age should be eligible for inclusion in all levels of rally competitions that are organised under the umbrella of the Classic Rally Car domain.  
  • A rolling 30-year eligibility criteria should be established with classes and categories introduced over time to cater for more modern vehicle types.
  • Cars complying with the existing PRC and/or Historic Rally Car regulations should also be recognised as Classic Rally Cars (where they meet the age criterion).
  • PRC cars would have the option of competing in existing PRC categories (where age is no determining factor) or in the Classic Category – but not both at the same time.  
  • Vehicles complying with existing Historic Rally Car regulations would all be recognised as C1.
  • Complete engine substitutions would only be permitted in some categories but would be tightly controlled with cost and availability key requirements for gaining approval.

Agreed Categories for the Classic Rally Car Domain

CLASS C1
Restricted to 2WD vehicles.  Conceptually a category for unmodified vehicles with concessions permitted for safety. The current CAMS Classic Rally Car eligibility would apply. Existing PRC cars and those cars recognised under the Historic Rally Car Regulations would be automatically recognised. No complete engine substitutions are permitted. Existing recognised vehicles with substitute engines will remain eligible until at least 2016 after which time they may no longer be recognised in this category.

CLASS C2
Restricted to 2WD vehicles.  Conceptually a category for modified vehicles with some limitations. The intent is to provide a lower cost option for older vehicles that have been modified. It is recognised and accepted that at the high end this category would not achieve any cost savings for serious competitors seeking to exploit the rules to achieve outright performance. The limits around the degree of acceptable modification, for regulatory simplicity, will largely reflect existing Club Rally Car regulations. Replacement engines will still need to be from the same manufacturer, have the same number of cylinders, not be turbocharged (except where standard). The drive train configuration will also have to remain as produced i.e. FWD cannot be converted to RWD. Fuel injection and engine management computers would be permitted.  
ARCom will further consider submissions on the issue of equivalent replacement engines in this category during 2015 with a final decision for 2016. Any change to the existing policy that currently does not permit cross-manufacturer engine swaps, will still be based on ARCom’s existing policy i.e. that such substitutions must only be for a demonstrable cost saving reason, and must not significantly increase the overall performance of the vehicle compared to the ‘standard’ configuration.

Class C3
This class is considered a ‘demonstration’ class for all 2WD and 4WD cars with provenance and/or representing some special value to rallying. Cars will be recognised in this class by ARCom on the recommendation of the Classic Rally Advisory Committee. Group A and Group B cars and Group G cars (only where previously log booked by CAMS) could be considered. Approval should not be automatically assumed. Vehicles in this class would not be eligible for series awards – except within their own class.

Class C4
This class is for 4WD vehicles (turbo and non-turbo) that will generally start to become eligible under the 30-year age criterion from 2015 onwards. The intent is to provide a pathway for 30-year-old vehicles currently in PRC P6 class to compete within the Classic domain if they chose to do so.

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