The Australian Rally Championship seems to be making positive steps forward during 2011, with a new focus and a new team at the helm, headed by former competitor Scott Pedder.

Some of the ideas that Pedder and his team have introduced, or plan for the future, are a little out of left field, but with the series floundering over recent years, they are certainly worth trying.

Part of the problem with the Australian Rally Championship in recent years has been the lack of manufacturer involvement, and while this has been eased a little over the past 18 months with the participation of Honda, there’s still a long way to go.

The days of multiple factory teams contesting the ARC were thought to be long gone, with Subaru, Mitsubishi and Toyota no longer involved, but Pedder says there is hope for the future.

A major focus on two-wheel drive cars in 2012 will hopefully attract new manufacturers, opening up the door for young drivers to secure factory seats that, in recent times, have been non-existent.

Promotion of the ARC is another area that has been poor in recent years, and this has also improved in 2011. However, it appears that the ARC still needs a ‘name’ driver competing regularly to help push the series into the mainstream media.

With drivers such as Simon Evans, Cody Crocker and Dean Herridge sitting on the sidelines, it would appear that there is plenty of talent waiting in the wings, but as always, finding the dollars for them to compete is the difficult part.

The good news is that there is actually some good news to talk about, and in past seasons, that hasn’t always been the case with the ARC.

- Peter Whitten

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