Shepheard to contest full ARC in 2010
- 20th January 2010, 11:49am
The championship kicks off in Tasmania on February 26-28, with the series continuing in April with the West Australian Quit Forest Rally.
Despite the logistical nightmare of being based in Queensland, the chance to challenge for championship glory rules supreme, with confidence high in the team following on from a strong finish to 2009.
"We really want to succeed in the Australian Rally Championship this year, and the only way to do that is not miss the first two events, many competitors miss Tasmania and Perth due to expense, but I am happy to say we are all systems go," said Shepheard.
"The team has completed the series several times before when we had our Lancer Evo 5 and 6, but this is the first time we have had the equipment to really challenge for outright success.
"The first two rounds are very tough on the team, so it is important that we post some strong results and can try and find some further backing to complete the series with.
"The Quit Forest Rally in Western Australia is the first rally that we have previously campaigned this car before, so it will be interesting to see how far we have really come in 12 months."
The 2009 championship season finished on a high note for the team with a flying fourth outright on Rally SA, with development work on the car, and driver tuition from WRC ace Chris Atkinson paying dividends.
Rally Tasmania also poses a difficult challenge for the crew, as it is the first tarmac rally the team has entered, with the car requiring significant re-engineering.
"For tarmac the car needs significant changes to the springs and suspension, including lowering the car, bigger wheels to accommodate the bigger brakes, and different tyres," said Shepheard.
"The GSA team has done a lot of circuit racing over the years, including winning the Australian Touring Car Championship and the Bathurst 1000, so there won't be a problem setting the car up for tarmac.
"We have been one of only a handful of teams that have won tarmac special stages in recent times, plus we are going testing at Morgan Park Raceway soon, so I'm pretty confident of a good result heading into Rally Tasmania."
The team is very much a family affair with Steve's brother Reg managing the crew, with his father George Shepheard overlooking the running of the operation, following on from years of success in many Australian Championships.
The entire GSA Wholesale Suspension staff attend every event, with much of the preparation on the car being completed by the hard working Jody.
The GSA Wholesale Suspension Rally Team would like to thank OZ Tec Suspension, King Springs, Accord Body Works, CES Racing Systems, Albins Off Road Gear and Mitsubishi Ralliart for their continued support in season 2010.
For more information on GSA Wholesale Suspension Rally Team is available on their new website, www.gsarallyteam.com.
2010 Australian Rally Championship Calendar
30th Anniversary Rally Tasmania- February 26-28
Quit Forest Rally (WA)- April 16-18
Coffs Coast Rally (NSW)- May 15-16
Scouts Rally SA- June 26-27
International Rally QLD- 31- August 1
Rally Victoria- November 13-14
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