35 crews have registered for the Experts Cup that will take place through the Wellington Plantation just south of Collie this weekend for the second round of the West Australian Rally Championship.

Among the entrants who will compete on roads perfect for rallying is Australian Rally Championship contender and Quit Forest Rally ARC section runner-up Mark Pedder who has entered the local WA rally as a stop-gap between the second and third rounds of the ARC.

“The aim of the rally is basically testing,” Pedder started.”Because there is such a long break between Queensland and Adelaide I wanted to get some more seat time...  My co-driver Lee [Tierney] said there was a really good event on in WA so here we are.”

“I’m also doing a full day test on Friday in another area so Collie will be about putting that test into practice at an event,” he said.

One team missing from the action this weekend will be the Subaru pairing of Chris Anderson and Ben Searcy, who were unable to overcome gearbox problems. They were second to eventual WARC titlist Tom Wilde last year.

With Wilde also not competing, the fight for the win is expected to come from two past rally champions in Alex Stone and Leigh Hynes who will take over the battle for line honours.

First-round winner Alex Stone said he is looking forward to competing at the event but does not entirely expect to be fighting for the win from the outset.

“Normally there are some good roads in Collie so I am looking forward to getting back to our old setup and seeing where that is at,” he said. “We’re not entirely settled that we have a good motor package in the car as we’re still running a fairly standard engine that we have not done much to.”

“We will be competitive but probably Leigh Hynes and Nicolas Box will fight it out,” he said.

Organisers are expecting perfect rallying conditions with a forecast of 17 degrees and sun on Saturday June 11, with spectators encouraged to attend the event to soak up the wintry sun and enjoy the State and Clubman rallying action on offer.

Spectator guides will be available from Rally HQ at the Collie Trotting Track where the rally will start at 1.30pm. The organisers are still looking for a final few road closures, anyone wishing to help should call Nikki on 0414 151 015.
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