Tasmanian driver Simon Jansen will head into the final round of the Australian Rally Championship in Melbourne this weekend with a chance of claiming the privateers’ BP Challenge.

After a less than smooth run at last month’s South Australian round, Jansen is in second position just 12 points behind young Victorian driver Will Orders and two points ahead of Queenslander Bruce Fullerton.  

"South Australia certainly didn’t go as planned.  We had a fuel pump problem on Saturday and an off road excursion on Sunday that cost us over 10 minutes before an overheating problem retired us from the event.  But that’s rallying – some events are troublefree and others you have to fight every step of the way,” Jansen said.

 “Winning the BP Challenge will certainly be a long shot.  Our ageing Mitsubishi Evo 3 is no match for some of the newer model cars competing, but that won’t stop us from giving it our best. In rallying anything can happen, luck plays a large part in our sport, along with skill and car preparation – you need to have all three to do well.

“The roads in Melbourne are fantastic and I really enjoy driving there and it’s a great event to put on a show for the spectators.  Whatever the outcome of the BP Challenge, I plan to enjoy the event as due to budget constraints we may not be able to compete in the ARC again next year. The costs associated with travelling to and from Hobart have certainly put a financial strain on our small team.  

“Naturally we’d like to come back next year but without financial support it’s going to be difficult.  We’ll just have to wait and see,” Jansen added.

The NGK Rally of Melbourne will commence this Friday with a ceremonial start at Docklands before heading out to the forest roads surrounding the Yarra Valley on Saturday and Sunday.

Photo: Redline Photographics

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