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In what’s sure to be one of the toughest seasons in Australian rallying, with the economic climate putting the squeeze on just about every form of motorsport, the competitors have voted with their feet and supported the 2009 Quit Forest Rally, with over 50 entries received by the WA Car Club.

The 14 strong Australian Championship entrants will be joined by over 35 competitors confirmed in the West Australian Rally Championship section. A dozen teams from the eastern states will make the long trip across the country to take on the challenging ball-bearing roads around the southwest town of Nannup, and the tarmac of the spectator friendly Busselton foreshore super stage.

“In these tough economic times it is indeed great to announce that we have secured not only a large, but quality field for the 2009 event,” Ross Tapper, Event Director, said.
 
Defending champions Neal Bates and Coral Taylor will contest the event in their now privately entered Toyota Corolla S2000. After two rounds they currently sit in second place behind former team mates Simon and Sue Evans. The Evans entry will have a definite local flavour with the car they will be campaigning originating from the WA based Racetorque Engineering.

Debuting the Evo 9 Mitsubishi the pair took out Round 2 of the championship in Canberra and will be looking to further extend their six-point lead.

Eli Evans, brother of Simon, badly damaged his car in Canberra and will be bringing over the spare car. Glen Raymond, Justin Dowel and Ryan Smart are among the ARC regulars to line up in Busselton.

Another interesting entry for fans will be the first look at a competition Mitsubishi Evolution X. The latest from the three-diamond outfit will be campaigned by privateer Mitsubishi driver, Steven Shepheard, coming all the way over from Queensland.

Locally, Dean Herridge driving for the Maximum Motorsport outfit and current WA State Champion and Busselton resident, Leigh Hynes, have also entered the Australian Rally Championship section of the event. In the past both of these drivers have shown the east coast runners that they have the speed it takes to be out front.

The Quit Forest Rally is also the opening round of the WA Rally Championship with a fierce battle expected across the classes and teams keen to get a good start to the year. Toby Heyring, on board the WRX STI, will certainly be one to watch, eoyj Shane Eather and John Macara also likely to figure in the outright points.

Spectator information is available from www.wacarclub.com.au.

The Quit Forest Rally, April 3-5 Busselton and Nannup.
 
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