Exclusive access from $6.55/month

Round 6 of the 2012 Bosch Australian Rally Championship was held at Warragul on November 16 and 17 with teams gathered from across Australia to compete in the final round of the championship at Rally Victoria.

The 2WD Championship had already been decided with The Honda Jazz team of Eli Evans and Glen Weston having accumulated enough points at the Coffs Coast Rally to secure the title. Second and third place were still up for grabs. The Roe Motorsport team of Alan Roe and Ray Farrell were third going into the final event but within reach of the second placed Honda of Mark Pedder and Claire Ryan. Fourth placed Matt Amos and Tom Ryan had gained some ground when the Roe Motorsport Nissan suffered an engine failure at Coffs Harbour which allowed the Amos team to enter Round 6 trailing the Roe team by only five championship points. The battle was on and all teams needed to bring their A-game and perform at their best.
 
With only four weeks between the last two rounds of the championship, the Roe Motorsport Team had their work cut out rebuilding their failed engine and having it race ready for the November event. As well as car preparation, the Roe Motorsport combination needed to carry out recconaisance of the 206 kilometres of competitive stages in the Powelltown and Noojee stages. 

Friday – Heat 1

Dry weather in the lead up to the event provided for dusty conditions come race day. Roe and Farrell started the event posting top five stage times and within 17 seconds of the Honda Jazz piloted by Mark Pedder. Mark Amos was well behind and it was time for the Roe Motorsport Nissan to chase down the lead of the factory Honda to challenge for second place in the championship. A higher level of commitment to corner speed was working well for the team and the lead was being whittled away before a poorly positioned rock brought the pair undone, requiring them to stop and change a flat front tyre, losing a valuable three and a half minutes of race time in the process. Championship leader Eli Evans also fell victim to a puncture.
 
The minutes to change a flat tyre are an eternity in rally terms and regaining the lost time near impossible in a single Heat. Roe had pegged back 30 seconds of his lost time to finish the heat three minutes down on the Amos V8 Commodore Ute.  With the factory Honda of Evans and the Roe Nissan now relegated to the back of the field due to their lost time, Pedder and Amos finished the heat ahead and claimed valuable championship points. This cemented Pedder’s second place in the championship and now placed Amos third, pushing the Roe Nissan back to fourth. Heat 2 was set to be a ding-dong battle for third step on the championship podium. 
 
 
Saturday – Heat 2

The fat lady wasn’t hollering yet and Roe and Farrell had their race faces on and were ready to attack Heat 2. After the first three stages they had  a lead of 20 seconds over the Amos Commodore before a puncture and overheating issues in Stage 11 for the Amos team saw that lead grow to over 8 minutes. All that Amos needed to do was complete the day and his championship podium was safe and fortunately some nearby campers were able to provide water to quench the hot engine of the big V8 to keep the Amos team in the competition. The last glimmer of hope for the Roe Motorsport team was that they could pick up a crucial second position in the Stage 14 power stage, giving them enough points to reinstate them on the podium.
 
The Nissan's engine was running sweetly and the fast flowing stages meant Roe was able to keep momentum up and really attack the corners. All was going well until mid-way through Stage 12 the Nissan's gearbox mashed fourth gear, making it unusable and Roe could only do his best to nurse the car back into the final service.

A quick change of the gearbox oil by the service crew was all that they could do in the limited time so fingers were crossed that the remaining gears could hang together in the slowly disintergrating gearbox. A valiant effort by Roe and Farrell saw them finish third in the Power Stage, only 15 seconds behind the factory Honda of Mark Pedder. This gained them an additional 1.25 championship points which eventually left them a mere 1.75 points behind Amos for fourth place in the 2012 Championship, a huge achievement for the Roe Motorsport team.

The Roe Motorsport team were awarded the Bosch Australian Rally Championship Privateers Cup as well as 1st place in the P4 (over 2000cc turbo-charged) class.

Attention now turns to 2013 with Roe bulding a new current model Ford Focus front-wheel drive car which will hopefully see the team forge ahead with their rally efforts. The new car will sport a 2 litre eco-boost turbo-charged engine coupled to a sequential gearbox which should provide for better acceleration and corner speeds compared the 1995 Nissan. Roe is looking forward to the  challenge of adjusting to the front-wheel drive as his years of motorbike and car racing have all been in rear wheel drive machines so techinique and finesse in the new Ford Focus will be imperative.
 
Roe Motorsport wish to thank all their sponsors for sharing the thrilling experience of the 2012 Bosch Australian Rally Championship.

Get full, exclusive access for only $6.55/month.
  • Full access
  • Exclusive news
  • Store & Tour discounts

Show Your Support

Author

Recent Posts