Top three tussle for Subaru do at Rally Australia
- 10th November 2016, 4:28am
The Subaru do Motorsport team is on track for an exciting season end in Coffs Harbour, NSW, next week, with a close three-way tussle for honours in the Kumho Tyre Australian Rally Championship 2016.
With just six points separating the top three drivers, Subaru do’s Molly Taylor is keenly focused on consistency over the 23 stages in the Kennards Hire Rally Australia, which is also a round of the World Rally Championship.
Sitting just five points off the ARC leader Simon Evans – and with just a point separating her from third-placed Harry Bates - Molly and co-driver Bill Hayes are keen to underline their credentials on the world stage, in their Group N production class All-Wheel Drive WRX STI NR4.
With 36 WRC cars ahead of the 27 ARC entries on each stage, Coffs will be a true test of staying power, as the stages take a pounding from the sheer volume of cars.
There is also a huge variation in stage lengths, from the 50.8 kilometre endurance test that is Nambucca I and II on the Saturday, to the four early evening passes over the 1.27km Super Special Stage sprints on Friday and Saturday.
With so few points between the leading trio after four ARC rounds, Molly said: “We’ve heard it may be the tightest ever finish to an ARC season, which adds to the excitement.
“I’ve only competed in Coffs once before and it’s also a considerably longer rally than the others, so we need a great level of physical and mental discipline to stay on our game.
“The Nambucca stages are by far the longest in the championship, by around 20 kilometres, and having all the WRC cars ahead of us means the conditions will be even more demanding for ARC cars and crews.
“There’s a massive variety of conditions across the stages too, from nice flowing shire roads to narrow, rough, technical sections, so it’s a fantastic challenge that we’re looking forward to.”
Molly added: “We started the season thinking a top five championship finish was achievable and here we are in second going into the final round, so we’re daring to dream!”
In the nearly 10 week gap since Lightforce Rally South Australia, Molly has been busy with both driving and Ambassador commitments for Subaru, including participating in her first triathlon, at Noosa, and also driving Subaru’s WRX STI NR4 promotional car in the Sydney-based Whiteline Tarmac Rallysprint.
The newest colour scheme on the WRX STI for Coffs Harbour features a dedicated Subaru do Motorsport theme. The scheme has changed for each event in this year’s Championship.
Kennards Hire Rally Australia is Round five of the Kumho Tyre Australian Rally Championship 2016.
Subaru has had historical success in Coffs Harbour, with the late Possum Bourne winning four consecutive events there from 1996-99.
To celebrate Subaru do Motorsport’s participation at Coffs Harbour, local dealer Geoff King Subaru is displaying the promo WRX STI NR4 at its Tolhurst Place Showroom. A variety of Subaru do Motorsport merchandise is also on sale at the dealership, including the latest range of T-shirts.
Visitors to the Subaru do Motorsport service area in Coffs Harbour can also enter a competition to win hot laps around the iconic Mount Panorama race circuit at Bathurst, NSW, in a specially prepared Model Year 2017 WRX STI, driven by Molly.
The prize also includes one night’s accommodation for Subaru’s Climb the Mountain Event on Tuesday February 7, 2017, at which customers can also pay $495 for the ride experience. More details of this exciting prize will be announced next week at the start of the rally. (Terms and conditions apply).
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