Young gun Tom Ryan says he’s happy to take an extremely patient approach to this weekend’s final of the Kumho Tyre Australian Junior Rally Challenge, where he’ll face off against South Australian flyer Guy Tyler.

Tyler qualified for the final by qualifying at his home event, Scouts Rally SA, earlier in the season in treacherously slippery conditions, while Ryan made both his ECB ARC debut and managed to qualify at the last outing at Coates Hire Rally Australia.

Each will pilot very different machines this weekend, with Tyler opting for front-wheel drive power in his Renault Clio, while Ryan may become a crowd favourite in his rear-wheel drive Toyota Altezza (badged as a Lexus IS200 when sold in Australia).

“For me, entering the Juniors is all about keeping costs down but still being able to compete on the same stages as the best drivers in Australia,” explained Tom Ryan in the lead up to this weekend’s Rally Victoria.

“It’s down to Guy and I, but my approach will be to drive to my ability, not to push, and to make it to the finish. If I can do that then I’ll worry about how I’ve done compared to Guy. To finish first, first I have to finish,” he added.

While Tyler has made regular appearances over the last few years in his Renault Clio, he has been hampered on a number of occasions by mechanical concerns. 

“There is no doubt Guy will be fast, but he has had some issues in the past. If he has problems I’ll definitely be aiming to be there to pick up the pieces, that’s my plan for the weekend,” said Ryan.

Despite being his first outing at Rally Victoria in the drivers seat, Ryan has the added advantage of having contested the event as a co-driver. “I missed last year, but I co-drove the two years before that. So I’ve seen the roads, I know what to expect, and I’ve seen what the roads are like when there is rain which is what we’re expecting this weekend.”

After suffering a broken third gear on the final day of Rally Australia, Ryan said his Toyota is back to full speed after giving the car a shakedown run at a recent tarmac event.

“It’ll be the first time back on gravel since Coffs Harbour, but the car is good, it’s strong and I’m looking forward to getting down to Victoria!”


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