Toughest WARC event is the championship decider
- 1st October 2013, 1:58pm
Leigh Hynes, who leads the Championship after winning three out of four events this year, is gunning for his third driver’s title and says he’ll take a ‘cautious’ approach to the event.
“We know we have to finish in the top eight to claim the Championship,” Hynes said.
Second place on the point score is Dylan King who was last year’s WARC 2WD Champion Driver.
The young driver, who turns 19 this week, played down his ambition for a big finish to the year saying: “We just want to do some skids and have some fun.”
John O’Dowd is third on the leaderboard is also looking forward to a solid finish to the year.
The CTS Safari Rally also has some surprise entrants including regular rally officials Stephen Mackinlay and Tony Floyd in a Mirage Asti. The pair is competing for the first time this year.
Shane Attwell and Mike Joss (Ford Falcon) and Richard Bennett and Matt James-Wallace (Mustang) will also be out on the stages. Both pairs are using the event as a precursor to their 2014 Sydney to London Classic Rally Marathon campaigns.
While the CTS Safari Rally is the final event of the year for Outright competitors, it’s the second last for 2WD and Clubman Cup competitors whose championships wrap up at the Darling 200 around Jarrahdale in November.
The 2WD Championship remains a tough-fought battle between points leader Razvan Vlad (Ford Fiesta) and Sean Keating (Nissan Silvia).
Both drivers recently competed at the Coates Hire Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast in September.
Vlad finished 23rd in the FIA World Rally Championship category and said the event helped his CTS Safari Rally preparation.
“I had to write new pacenotes for Rally Australia, which will definitely help me at Safari,” he said.
Unfortunately, Keating was forced out of the Australian Rally Championship section of the event after crashing his Nissan Silvia.
At this stage, Keating is unsure whether his car will be repaired in time for the CTS Safari Rally but said if it isn’t, he will borrow one to compete.
In the Clubman Cup field, Championship leader Steve Vass said he’s been working to ‘build reliability’ into his Datsun 1600. He has his sights set firmly on the 2013 Championship title but will face competition from Carl Rattenbury (Ford Escort) who claimed victory at the LRT Lewana Stages in July.
Nathan Pearce will aim to make up for a disastrous LRT Lewana Stages. His Toyota Corolla was damaged when it left the road on the first stage.
Meantime, Mike Nairn (Toyota Corolla) said his aim was secure the 2013 Clubman Rookie title. Nairn has been the fastest newcomer in three out of four events so far this year.
The CTS Safari Rally will be contested over 110 kilometres of demanding roads around Chidlow and Mundaring. Clubman Cup competitors will run over 63 kilometres.
The event kicks off from the Childow Tavern on Thomas Street just off the Old Northam Road at 1pm on Saturday October 12.
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